The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on the government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to provide urgent financial relief to airlines as they struggle to survive the devastating impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
IATA estimates that revenues generated by airlines in the Jordanian market will fall by US $700 million (52%) compared to 2019. That puts at risk nearly 34,400 Jordanian jobs and US $1.1 billion of Jordan’s GDP, which is generated by aviation directly as well as by aviation-related tourism.
Muhammad Albakri, IATA’s regional vice president for Africa and the Middle East, commented: “Jordan’s leaders have always understood the importance of having a sustainable aviation sector. They have prioritised policies that have encouraged the development of air connectivity that supports travel and tourism. But the COVID-19 crisis is putting that positive progress at risk. Airlines are fighting for survival. “Passenger traffic has virtually stopped, and cash flows are almost non-existent. The consequences for the Jordanian economy are severe. Urgent financial support from the government is needed now to keep the sector alive.”
An IATA statement reiterated that it is essential that the Jordanian government moves quickly to minimise the economic damage resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. It said government support is urgently required to ensure the liquidity which will allow airlines to survive the coming months and thus protect the jobs generated by the air transport sector. It underlined that the Jordanian government should consider the following financial relief measures:
- Direct financial support to passenger and cargo carriers
- Financial relief on air traffic control (ATC) charges and taxes
- Reduction, waiver or deferral of government-imposed taxes and fees
IATA noted that air transport in Jordan contributes $2.2 billion to the country’s GDP and supports some 70,000 jobs. It said this includes spending by foreign tourists who travel to Jordan by air which supports $1.3 billion of GDP. In total, 5.7% of the country’s GDP is sustained by the input of the air transport sector and foreign tourists arriving by air.
Mr Albakri concluded: “When the COVID-19 virus is brought under control, a healthy aviation sector will be essential to jump-start the Jordanian, Middle East and global economies. Timely government support is urgently required to ensure the liquidity which will allow airlines to survive the coming months and thus protect the jobs generated by the air transport sector and preserve Jordan’s tourism industry.”