Sunday 29 March 2020
 
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ANALYSIS

Pandemic could reduce global air passenger numbers by 30pc

DUBAI, 11 days ago

The coronavirus pandemic is likely to have an unprecedented impact on global air travel, with global air passenger numbers expected to drop by up to 30 per cent this year, a new report said.
 
The rapid spread of the new virus across the globe has caused air traffic demand to plunge in recent weeks, S&P Global Ratings reveals in its article "The Coronavirus Pandemic Could Reduce Global Air Passengers By Up To 30% In 2020."
 
"Our current base case for global air passengers in 2020 assumes a decline of 20 per cent-30 per cent from 2019, with full recovery achieved only in 2022-2023," said Julyana Yokota, S&P Global Ratings credit analyst.
 
This view takes into account the coronavirus's rapid spread to over 125 countries and the severity of lockdown measures to contain the coronavirus, given the risk of contagion. Various European countries have now taken extreme measures to restrict travel, while the US has restricted anyone who has been in 28 European states in the prior 14-day period from entering the US. Controlling the coronavirus, as well as reestablishing passenger confidence, may be more challenging than similar efforts for previous viruses, such as 2009's H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, or SARS in 2003. Recovery is likely to take longer, given the lockdown measures.
 
The impact on each airport rating will depend on several factors, including the speed, scale, geography, and duration of the crisis; measures taken by each airport to mitigate passenger declines and administrate fixed costs; potential government extraordinary support; and the financial flexibility of each airport prior to the virus outbreak, as well as their liquidity cushions.
 
"Over the coming weeks, we will conduct reviews of our airport ratings to reflect our updated views in this highly uncertain and fast-moving situation," said Yokota. - TradeArabia News Service



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