The International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned, Thursday, that the strict quarantine measures associated with the emerging of coronavirus in African and Middle Eastern countries impede the resumption of travel, which leads to more losses and bankruptcy of airlines.
"The quarantine measures imposed by the government in 36 countries across Africa and the Middle East represent 40% of all quarantine measures worldwide," Mohamed Al-Bakri, Vice President of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for Africa and the Middle East, said in a virtual press conference.
The countries of the Middle East have implemented massive closures to combat the outbreak of the new Corona virus, stop flights and close airports.
Some airlines in the region have recently resumed partial operations, but amid strict health requirements including virus checks and quarantines upon arrival.
Al-Bakri said, "With more than 80% of travelers unwilling not to travel in a state of compulsory quarantine, the effect of these measures is that countries remain closed even if their borders are open."
In its latest forecast, issued Thursday, IATA said that airlines in the Middle East will lose 56% of their revenue and 55% of passengers this year compared to 2019.
"Losses continue to accumulate, and airlines continue to bleed. It is an abnormal situation and cannot be tolerated, and no one can bear this closure," Al-Bakri warned.
He continued, "It is expected that carriers in the Middle East will lose 37 dollars for every passenger they carry in 2020," while the loss is 42 dollars for every passenger in Africa.
Al-Bakri urged governments in the region to provide urgent financial assistance to airlines, saying that world countries have put $ 123 billion to help the sector, while some Middle East and African countries have pledged only $ 800 million.
"We are concerned that many of these carriers may be lost if governments do not provide the necessary support," he said, calling for a balance between "protecting the health of citizens, revitalizing economies and applying " alternatives to quarantine upon arrival. "