In 2021, the airlines' turnover will still be very far from normal

1 min reading time

Published on 29/10/20 - Updated on 17/03/22


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects a 46% decrease in airline turnover next year compared to 2019. This outlook has once again been revised downwards.

A return to normality is not yet in sight. The IATA warned that next year, airline turnover will still be 46% lower than in 2019. This means that the industry is still far from reaching pre-pandemic levels.

The companies were hoping for a resumption of air traffic in the fourth quarter of 2020, but faced with the new wave of Covid-19 and the traffic restrictions - border closures and the implementation of quarantine measures - their prospects had to be revised downwards. The IATA had previously predicted a 29% drop in sales compared to 2019. 

Faced with these gloomy prospects, many companies have already announced massive job cuts in recent months to limit the damage caused by the health crisis. This concerns for instance Cathay Pacific, which plans to lay off 5,900 employees, as well as American carriers such as United Airlines (13,432 jobs affected) and American Airlines (19,000 of its employees laid off). 

The IATA estimated the loss of turnover of the industry at 419 billion dollars for 2020. A figure that could rise even higher with the arrival of the new wave of contaminations in Europe and strong restrictions to cope with it. 

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