Global airlines lose an estimated $28 bln in revenues in March; tourism, manufacturing, international post also hit by coronavirus: Report

Doaa A.Moneim , Friday 15 May 2020

Global airlines estimated

The global economy is seeing unprecedented risks because of the coronavirus crisis, with unpromising indices for many sectors, according to a recent report by the international body the Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA).

The aviation industry, for instance, is facing the deepest crisis in history, and is bearing a heavier burden than many other industries.

“Only in March, airlines are estimated to lose $28 billion in revenues, [and] airports and air navigation service providers have lost around $8 billion and $824 million, respectively,” the report read, predicting an even worse outlook in April.

With around 90 percent of global fleets being grounded and travel demand hitting nearly zero, the traffic has far exceeded the level observed during events such as the outbreak of SARS and the terror attacks of 11 September 2001, according to the report, putting the aviation industry under extreme strain.

The report said that the slump in air traffic has further caused severe financial pressure on all stakeholders in the aviation sector.

On the labour market, the report said that it had witnessed unprecedented shock, with the biggest employment decline since World War II.

Global hours worked could drop by 10.5 percent in the current quarter of 2020, equivalent to 305 million full-time workers with a 48-hour workweek, the report said.

The coronavirus also hit the global trade, with indicators signalling a marked decline, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) expects that downturn to accelerate during the second quarter of the year.

The report also predicted a further decline in global manufacturing production, saying that global manufacturing growth which was already decelerating in 2019 due to trade tensions among dominant economies.

The tourism sector is also among the most affected sectors, seeing declines in the range of 60 percent to 80 percent in international tourist arrivals for 2020, depending on the speed of the containment and the duration of travel restrictions and shutdown of borders, according to the report.

The disruption of the international postal supply chain is expected amid the crisis, the report added. Almost one in two international mail items is stranded, international volumes are down by 23 percent due to the crisis, and customs clearance times have increased by a factor of 32, according to the report.

“Overall, even if domestically the demand for deliveries and online sales has surged, international mail has been decreasing,” it reads.

Global banking is also facing risks, given that the short-term share of credit by foreign banks, a key indicator of external vulnerability, is high for some emerging market and developing economy borrowers.

In addition, substantial variations can be expected among national banking systems in their reactions to a global financial shock triggered by the pandemic.

Unlike other sectors, the pharmaceutical industry has been seeing a boom, the report notes, and is expected to grow more in the coming period.

According to the report, imports and exports of medical products totalled about $2 trillion, including intra-EU trade, which represented approximately 5 percent of total world merchandise trade in 2019.

In addition, protective supplies used in the fight against COVID-19 attract an average tariff of 11.5 percent and go as high as 27 percent in some countries.

The CCSA is comprised of a number of international and supranational organisations, including many UN bodies.

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