The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has forecast that airlines globally are potentially facing 1.5 billion fewer international passengers than previously expected for 2020 in the middle of the unprecedented crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In parallel, international seat capacity could drop by almost three-quarters, resulting in a USD 273 billion dollar loss compared to previously expected gross operating revenues.
Salvatore Sciacchitano, President of the ICAO Council, stated this in the annual report of the Council to the ICAO Assembly. The report has provided a regular summary of the implementation of the decisions taken by ICAO’s highest body, which the Assembly reviews once reconvened.
ICAO has acted swiftly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in cooperation with states, the World Health Organization and other UN bodies, and all aviation stakeholders. Guidance has been provided to help resolve the immediate threats to critical air services and also to help States plan and fund for the recovery. Of particular note is the creation of the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force to identify and recommend strategic priorities and policies for States and industry operators that will support not only the relaunch of the global aviation network but also its resilience and responsiveness.
According to Salvatore Sciacchitano, ‘’it is not just the international aviation community’s recent achievements that have provided us with the solid foundations from which we are building and drawing strength as we now confront the greatest challenges we have ever known, but also its historic accomplishments.
‘’We are reminded of the power of our long-standing commitment to cooperation and consensus; values that have always underpinned the resilience of civil aviation, and values that will provide us, I am sure, with not only the inspiration to overcome the impacts of COVID-19, but also lead us to the pragmatic and universal solutions that will be key to recovering fully.’’