Air travel in the Asia Pacific region has
virtually ground to a halt as a result of the different travel
bans, border closures, lockdowns, quarantines and isolation orders
imposed by governments.
Asian airlines are facing revenue shortfalls of
upwards of USD60 billion this year as a result of the sharp falls
in demand which have already forced the grounding of over half of
By the same token, many of the one million workers
employed in the Asia Pacific airline industry are unable to work
because of the drastic reductions in operations. Many are facing
the threat of a loss of their livelihoods.
The sharp reductions in passenger services have
also drastically reduced available air cargo capacity affecting
critical supply chains, including getting food and medical
supplies to affected communities worldwide.
Asian airlines are continuing to operate
dedicated freighter services but need help in streamlining
operations, scheduling, and crew clearances to keep critical goods
moving as a lifeline.
Airlines have been taking tough but necessary
steps to deal with the current crisis by sharply reducing
operations and costs including discussions with staff members
whilst trying to preserve jobs. They are also actively seeking
additional financing from banks and financial institutions. Such
measures will, however, not be sufficient to guarantee the
survival of the aviation sector.
Governments across the globe are only now
beginning to appreciate the enormity of the challenge and the need
for immediate action to provide critical support to those
The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines has
called on all governments to take immediate action to address the
societal impact of the world's worst public health crisis in a
century, saying that they can help by rapidly implementing
emergency relief measures such as:
- Suspension of payroll taxes, deferment or
reduction in income taxes, extension of payment terms, waiver of
ticket taxes and other government levies, taxes, dues and charges
- Direct financial support for reduced revenues
and liquidity support due to travel restrictions;
- Extension of interest-free loans or loan
guarantees, and support for corporate bond markets either directly
or to commercial banks to extend credit for affected companies;
- Direct financial support for individuals facing
loss of livelihoods.