The airliners in the Middle East is to improve business next year after suffering a loss of $7.1 billion this year. Middle East's airline loss is expected to narrow to $3.3 billion in 2021. The carriers recorded 88.9 per cent passenger loss compared to September 2019, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
While the covid19 hit the global air travel with a total loss of $84.3 billion, IATA expects cargo revenues to account for 36 per cent of airline revenues.
IATA reported a steep decline in passenger revenues of 89 per cent in the third quarter (Q3) compared to the second quarter of the year despite the diffident capacity recovery globally. However, demand for cargo increased in Q3 and the revenues improved year-on-year by 15 per cent. The Middle East witnessed air connectivity decline by 88 per cent. While other regions such as Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America and Latin America saw a decline in the connectivity of per cent 93, 76, 93, 73 and 91 respectively.
The three major hubs of the Middle East are in the UAE and Qatar - Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha and the region's prime carriers are Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Etihad Airways.
Emirates observed 96 per cent passenger traffic plunge in the first half of its fiscal year, starting April as the majority of its flights had to be grounded. Qatar Airways operated an average of 244 flights against 596 year-over-year in November, according to Flight Global. While Etihad Airways focused on restructuring and cost-cutting plan and flew 76 flights in November against 239 last year.
"This crisis is devastating and unrelenting. Airlines have cut costs by 45.8 per cent, but revenues are down 60.9 per cent. The result is that airlines will lose $66 for every passenger carried this year for a total net loss of $118.5 billion. This loss will be reduced sharply by $80 billion in 2021. But the prospect of losing $38.7 billion next year is nothing to celebrate. We need to get borders safely re-opened without quarantine so that people will fly again. And with airlines expected to bleed cash at least until the fourth quarter of 2021 there is no time to lose," stated Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO.
IATA states approximately 88 million jobs and $3.5 trillion in GDP is usually supported by aviation. More than half of this employment and economic value is at stake from the downfall in global air travel demand.