The health and economic crisis generated by coronavirus has paralyzed 90% of the world air fleet since last March. A scenario that will cause airline debts to shoot up 28% to total 550,000 million dollars at the end of the year, according to what was indicated on Tuesday by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The figure represents an increase of $ 120 billion in total debt, of which $ 67 billion comes from government loans, the organization that brings together almost 300 world airlines detailed in a statement.

Government aid

“The government aid “It is helping to keep the industry afloat, but now the challenge is to prevent some airlines from sinking due to the burden of this aid,” stressed the IATA CEO and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

In total, governments have pledged $ 123 billion in aid to save airlines, from which $ 67 billion mentioned must be returned by the airlines.

North America pulls out heavy artillery

By region, half of government aid has been approved in North America, with 66,000 million dollars, while in Europe it rises to 30,000 million dollars and in Asia Pacific 26,000 million, according to IATA.

The payment of the debt will prolong the crisis of the sector over time, at a time when it is feared that passenger demand it takes time to recover its previous levels due to the distrust that the coronavirus has generated.

For its part, IATA ensures that it is still needed more financial injection to ensure airlines survive to the crisis caused by the coronavirus, especially in regions such as Latin America or Africa, where the aid so far approved is less than 1% of the income for the year 2019.

“Where governments have not responded quickly or in a limited way, we have seen bankruptcieswith examples in Australia, Italy, Thailand, Turkey or the United Kingdom, “said De Juniac.