SINGAPORE (May 29): Covid-19 has turned the travel industry upside down and the Asia-Pacific is first in the firing line. The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) projects that global tourist arrivals could decline by up to 80% y-o-y in 2020 while the International Air Travel Association (IATA) estimates that 25 million jobs are at risk in aviation-related sectors. 

“International and domestic travel restrictions have resulted in the suspension of flights across the world, putting airlines at serious risk. This, as well as weak demand and cancelled bookings, has placed airlines at risk of a liquidity problem,” says a report by research firm Fitch Solutions Group (FSG). 

Latin America’s two largest airlines LATAM Airlines and Avianca filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May. Industry giants have not been spared -- Qatar Airways is operating at only 25% capacity and only expects demand to recover to pre-Covid levels in 2022/23. FSG sees total airline takeoffs in Hong Kong and the US falling from around 10 million each in 2019 to just 100,000 in 2020. 

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