PH airline industry to lose about P250 billion due to COVID-19 crisis — ACAP
MANILA, Philippines — The country’s airline industry stands to lose about $4.9 billion or about P250 billion until the end of the year due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.
Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) vice chairman Roberto Lim on Monday added that 25,000 to 500,000 jobs in the airline industry and other industries related to air travel are also at stake.
“ACAP has made an estimate that the loss for the industry in the Philippines is about $4.9 billion,” he said during a Senate public services committee hearing.
To mitigate the losses of the industry, Lim said that it would need to “start flying again.” He added that it would be “even” if airlines are able to resume 70% of their capacities.
Resuming only 50% of airlines’ capacity would not be “economically viable,” Lim said.
“That’s (flying) our ability to be a catalyzer of economic activity, the moment we are able to bring people and cargo and connect the islands,” he said.
At present, there are no “large scale” layoffs in the aviation industry, Lim assured, and a subsidy from Congress would have the industry “sustained.”
The airlines also would only be able to resume 20% to 30% of their original network of flights as there is currently no “consumer confidence,” he added.
Last week, the National Task Force against COVID-19 suspended all incoming international flights in the country’s main gateway, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila, and other international airports in the country.
Air travel, among other means of transportation, was also suspended since last March 17 when the government imposed an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) over Luzon and other areas.
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