New Delhi: Global airlines body IATA said on Tuesday that airlines across the world are expected to lose USD 84.3 billion in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, calling it the “worst year” in the history of aviation. Also Read - India's Domestic Air Passenger Traffic Fell by 11.8% in March: IATA

Even as the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise globally, various countries have restarted domestic and international air travel, albeit with much precautions and in a curtailed manner. Also Read - Coronavirus Impact: Over 20 Lakh Jobs at Risk in Indian Aviation, Dependent Sectors, Says IATA

“Financially, 2020 will go down as the worst year in the history of aviation. On average, every day of this year will add 230 million to industry losses. In total that’s a loss of 84.3billion,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, in a statement. Also Read - CORSIA: IATA to continue discussions on India joining initiative during voluntary stage

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said revenues will fall 50 per cent to USD 419 billion in 2020 from USD 838 billion in 2019.

“In 2021, losses are expected to be cut to 15.8 billion as revenues rise to 598 billion,” said the IATA, which has around 300 airlines as its members that handle around 82 per cent of the total global air traffic.

After a gap of two months, India resumed its scheduled domestic passenger flights on May 25. Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India.

De Juniac said as per the IATA’s estimates, 2.2 billion passengers will travel through flights this year and the airlines will lose USD 37.54 per passenger.

“That’s why government financial relief was and remains crucial as airlines burn through cash,” he said.

Globally, over 4 lakh people have died of coronavirus and more than 70 lakh have tested positive for the virus ever since its emergence in China last December.

Around 2.66 lakh people have been infected and around 7,500 people died due to the infection in India till now.

De Juniac said, “Provided there is not a second and more damaging wave of COVID-19, the worst of the collapse in traffic is likely behind us. A key to the recovery is universal implementation of the re-start measures agreed through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to keep passengers and crew safe.”