The International Air Transport Association (IATA) criticized the Latin American governments for not providing support to their airlines. The trade association has also raised questions regarding the future of the careers and whether or not all of them would survive the pandemic. They have also asked the government that when the industry would return to pre-virus strength.
IATA’s vice president for the region, Peter Cerda has said that the financial aid the governments have provided to the airlines is less than 2% of their operating revenue last year. He went on to say that the governments in other parts of the world have been much supportive of their airlines and have provided them with good aid packages.
He said that the airlines of this region have got the least support from the governments. Air travel would probably cease for four months or more in the region due to coronavirus, whereas in China and Europe, airlines are seeing an increase in the bookings and more passengers are considering travel.
As of today, there are strict travel restrictions in place in much of South America. Some countries are intending to allow air travel in the next weeks, except for Colombia and Argentina, where the air travel operations won’t resume until September.
Peter Cerda also said that the burden on the industry is increasing as they only have enough resources left to survive two to three months. This is why the governments in this region must play their role and provide financial support to the companies, so they can continue their operations after the restrictions are lifted. There are around 7.2 million employees associated directly or indirectly with the air travel industry in Latin America, so the government needs to provide financial security to them.
Two of the major airlines in the continent, Avianca and LATAM have already filed for bankruptcy protection. This is what prompted IATA to criticize the governments. The organization says we can see more airlines filing for bankruptcy until the crisis is over. The organization is also working with the countries to see what kind of support can be provided to them.