Air sector plummeting with coronavirus

Airports are emptying around the world and experts estimate that the epidemic should cost airlines more than $ 113 billion. AFP Photos / Joseph Prezioso

Text by: RFI Follow

The air sector is hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and is experiencing an unprecedented situation. The epidemic has caused a drastic reduction in global traffic. Some airlines are starting to plan for job cuts.


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The unprecedented fall in activity is forcing the airline industry to take drastic measures. The Dutch company KLM, a company merged with Air France, has announced that it will cut 1,500 to 2,000 jobs in the coming months due to the pandemic .

Not only has Donald Trump sounded the death knell for transatlantic flights with the United States, but flight bans are increasing in Europe itself. The Dutch government announced restrictions on flights to Italy, China, Hong Kong and Iran on Friday, measures KLM would have gladly done without.

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In addition to the job cuts, the battalion KLM company announces that it will not hire consultants, remove executive business travel, suspend training and give up 300 to 400 million euros in investments.

British Airways also in turmoil

Without giving figures, British Airways also said that a job cut was inevitable for the group. The effects of the crisis on the sector have been expected for weeks and the European Commission decided on Tuesday to lighten airport rules to give air carriers a balloon, but the announcements of these two European companies will undoubtedly be followed by others.

Industry experts believe that if the epidemic lasts more than two months, several fragile companies could go bankrupt, like Flybe. The British company went into receivership last week. A situation which could lead to a further consolidation of the sector. Strong companies will be able to acquire some of their competitors in great financial difficulty.

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The crisis will cause substantial losses. According to the International Air Transport Association, the epidemic could cost airlines more than $ 113 billion in 2020.

Suspension of international flights in Saudi Arabia

While the United States followed by many Latin American countries have closed their air links to Europe. Some countries decide to completely close their air borders to stem the virus like Saudi Arabia. The kingdom announced the suspension of all international flights from Sunday March 15 for two weeks. A few days before, Riyadh had already announced the suspension of certain flights to and from several countries in which the virus has spread and even before the suspension of Umrah adds our correspondent in Dubai, Nicolas Keraudran .

Uncertainties are therefore also increasing regarding the holding of the great pilgrimage of hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, which is to take place between July and August 2020 and which attracts millions of faithful.

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  • Aeronautics
  • Transport
  • Businesses
  • Economy
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Health and Medicine
  • Coronavirus

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