In view of the economic crisis due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) are seeking support from the government for the aviation industry to protect jobs and ensure that the services are maintained. Reportedly, air passenger demand currently is down 80 per cent. Along with it, the airlines are also facing a liquidity crisis threatening the viability of 25 million jobs.
In a joint statement, the ITF and IATA have requested the government to prioritize the protection of health workers at the time of the COVID-19 crisis. Further, they requested the government to provide immediate financial and regulatory support for airlines to maintain the sustainability of terms and conditions for air transport workers.
Along with it, in its joint statement, the two organizations have noted the aviation industry's contribution to curbing the Coronavirus crisis by keeping supply chains open and repatriating citizens. Along with it, reportedly, aviation professionals are also volunteering on the frontline to assist medical services.
According to IATA's Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac, the airlines are facing the most critical period in the history of commercial aviation. He added that direct financial support is essential to maintain jobs and ensure airlines can remain viable businesses. "And when the world is ready to start travelling again, the global economy will need aviation at its best to help restore connectivity, tourism and global supply chains. That will require a harmonized approach with industry, workers, and governments working together," he said in a statement.
According to ITF's General Secretary Stephen Cotton, the governments should understand the importance of the aviation industry in rebuilding the global economy and support the industry. "Bold decisions are required to invest in the future of airlines and protect the jobs and livelihoods of the transport workers who will lead the economic recovery when COVID-19 has been contained," he said. "Workers and the industry have joined forces, we invite more governments to join us in a coordinated approach to keep the industry and its essential supply chains moving," he said in a statement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 14 announced the extension of the nationwide lockdown till May 3 in order to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus. He addressed the nation as the ongoing pan-India lockdown entered its 21st day. All transport services have been stopped, including Indian railways' passenger service goods trains are operational to ensure a steady supply of goods and services across the country. India has suspended all visas and barred travel from Afghanistan, Philippines, EU, UK, China, Malaysia and mandatory 14-day quarantine from several other countries.
(With ANI Inputs)