The International Air Transport Association, a global industry body says this is a potentially devastating hit for often struggling airlines counting on lucrative Chinese routes to fund expansion. The global hit to the aviation industry is projected to be $29 billion this year – a 4.7% industry-wide drop in revenue per passenger kilometre, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said. Tewolde GebreMariam, chief executive officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest carrier, said the virus had slashed passenger demand. Ethiopian Airlines has faced criticism online for not cancelling flights to China like neighbours Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. IATA forecast in December that African airlines would make a loss of around $200 million this year, similar to 2019.
SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA