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The International Air Transport Association has revealed that as revenue losses rise in Nigeria, about 91,380 jobs in the nation’s aviation industry are on the line.

In a country-specific analysis of the effects of COVID-19 on airlines’ operations, IATA said Nigeria would record 3.5 million fewer passengers, resulting in a $ 0.76bn revenue loss, risking 91,380 jobs and $0.65bn in contribution to the country’s economy.

The association had earlier predicted that the disruption to air travel due to the continued spread of coronavirus would cost Nigeria’s aviation industry over $434m in revenue, 22,200 jobs and approximately 2.2 million passengers up from the 853,000 losses in passenger volumes and $170m loss in base revenue projected in early March.

IATA called for an urgent action from the government to provide financial relief to airlines as the latest scenario for potential revenue loss by carriers, especially in Africa reached $4bn.

“This translates into a drop of industry revenues of 32 per cent for Africa for 2020 as compared to 2019,” IATA said.

The association noted that to minimise the broad damage that the losses would have across African economies, it was vital that governments stepped up their efforts to aid the industry.

IATA said, “Many governments in the region have committed to provide relief from the effect of COVID-19. And some have already taken direct action to support aviation but more help is needed. IATA is calling for a mixture of direct financial support, loans, loan guarantees, support for the corporate bond market and tax relief.

“The air transport industry is an economic engine, supporting up to 8.6 million jobs across Africa and the Middle East and $186bn in the GDP. Every job created in the aviation industry supports another 24 jobs in the wider economy. Governments must recognise the vital importance of the air transport industry, and that support is urgently needed.”

According to the association, airlines are fighting for survival in every corner of the world as travel restrictions and evaporating demand mean that aside from cargo, there is almost no passenger business.

It explained that failure by governments to act now would make the crisis longer and more painful, adding that airlines had demonstrated their value in economic and social development and governments needed to prioritise them in rescue packages.

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