ALTA statement on COVID-19
March 6, 2020 – The aviation industry has been growing steadily in Latin America and the Caribbean and reached its sixteenth consecutive year of growth in 2019, with over 300 million passengers carried by the airlines in the region.
The travel and tourism industry has consolidated itself as an important engine for the economies, representing 15.5% of the Caribbean GDP and 9.3% of Latin American GDP. Also generating 13.5% of jobs in the Caribbean and 8.2% in Latin America, according to data from the WTTC. It is an industry of extreme relevance for the economic, social and political well-being of the region and therefore we see with great concern the growing impact that COVID-19 has on the entire air transport value chain, on passengers, the tourism sector and, finally, on a potential financial destabilization of the nations of the region.
Latin America does not yet show in numbers the impact of the coronavirus, except for some affected routes to Europe and Asia. However, analysis presented by IATA estimate that in 2020 global passenger traffic will reduce between 11% and 19% and the passenger transport industry will have revenue losses between 63 billion and 113 billion dollars, still having to confirm the losses in cargo transportation.
Therefore, ALTA calls on the governments of the region to work even more closely to guarantee the industry’s viability and the sustainability of the economies in the medium and long term through exceptional and temporary measures that allow the operation and passengers mobility.
In this sense, ALTA requests to the relevant authorities:
- Maintain a fluid contact with the airlines in order to effectively inform and coordinate any income control measures or health forms required by the different States
- Flexibility in airport slot allocation rules as an exceptional measure to ensure that low demand or cancelled flights do not affect airlines’ historical compliance required for the planning of the next flight season
- Reduce overall costs to the industry to mitigate the impact of this exceptional situation. These include taxes, fees and charges throughout the airline production chain
- Adjust work conditions as a contingency measure to secure industry jobs during this public health emergency
The air industry by nature generates very low margins and the impact of COVID-19 on the economic activity is a risk to the subsistence of many airlines and industry companies, which are a driving force for many other sectors of the global economy.
ALTA is at the disposal of the region’s authorities to evaluate the recommended measures and to implement policies in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization as urgent actions to minimize the spread of the virus, while guaranteeing the industry’s viability while we resume the stability of operations.
ALTA is a private non-profit association serving the airline industry whose objective is to develop a safer, more efficient, and sustainable aviation in Latin America and the Caribbean. ALTA coordinates collaborative efforts throughout the entire value chain maximizing the impact that aviation has on the economic and social growth of the region for the benefit of industry, nations, and populations served by air transport.
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