Airports likely to see $97 bn revenue loss in 2020 amid pandemic, says ACI

Topics Coronavirus | airlines | Lockdown

ACI serves around 668 members, operating 1,979 airports across 176 countries

Airports worldwide are expected to see a decline of more than 4.6 billion passengers and revenue totalling $97 billion (around Rs 7.3 trillion) in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, ACI said on Tuesday.

The Airports Council International (ACI) has estimated a reduction of over two billion passengers at the global level in the second quarter of 2020 and more than 4.6 billion passengers for all of 2020.

The decline in total airport revenues on a global scale is estimated to be $39.2 billion in the second quarter and more than $97 billion for this year, it said in a release.

ACI serves around 668 members, operating 1,979 airports across 176 countries.

"This outlook provides yet another stark illustration of the need for government assistance for airports to preserve essential operations and to protect the jobs and livelihoods of the millions of people that work in airports around the world," it said.

ACI World Director General Angela Gittens said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on airports, the wider aviation ecosystem, and the global economy continues to worsen and represents an existential threat to the industry unless governments can provide appropriate relief and assistance.

Airports in the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East are projected to incur revenue loss to the tune of $36.4 billion in 2020 as passenger traffic has dropped significantly due to the pandemic.

The grouping has estimated a year-end revenue loss of 59 per cent for Asia-Pacific airports and 53 per cent for Middle East airports.

"Combined, airports in these regions are forecasted to lose $36.4 billion for the full year 2020. For both Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, this means 10 per cent more losses than forecasted one month ago.

"This outcome is the result of a significant drop in passenger traffic with the two regions jointly standing to lose two billion passengers, about 400 million more passengers than previously forecasted," ACI Asia Pacific said in a release.

Last week, ACI World and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) had sought urgent tax relief and direct financial assistance that is to the benefit of the entire aviation ecosystem.

As per the release issued by ACI Asia Pacific, preliminary traffic data for April from 26 airports from Asia-Pacific and the Middle East confirms the current challenges and negative trends faced by the region's airports.

"On aggregate, the traffic at these airports remain rock bottom, recording an year-on-year traffic decline of -92 per cent in the four weeks of April," it noted.

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