In a joint statement, Emirates and Etihad said carriers globally need government intervention to survive
Two of the Middle East’s biggest airlines are warning that 85% of carriers globally face insolvency by the end of the year without government intervention.
Passenger demand won’t return to pre-crisis levels until 2023, Emirates President Tim Clark and Tony Douglas, chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, warned in a joint statement issued by the US-UAE. Business Council.
The coronavirus has wiped out demand across the world, including the neighboring hubs of Dubai and Abu Dhabi that serve as homes for Emirates, the industry’s largest long-haul carrier, and Etihad, respectively.
Lasting restrictions such as two-week quarantines, testing and social distancing will impact demand and operations, they said, adding that the way passengers fly will be different until an effective vaccine becomes widely available.
Dubai-owned Emirates received assurances for government support last month.
Airlines have been hit with an unprecedented near-total shutdown of travel as the health emergency sweeps across continents and governments close borders and order populations to stay at home. About 70% of global carrier capacity is idled and the industry stands to lose $314 billion in 2020 in ticket sales, according to the International Air Transport Association.