Nigeria aviation business hardest hit by COVID-19
- Nigeria has lost $700 million, about N270 billion within the past three months.
- Total Africa aviation losses estimated at $28.5 billion.
- 90,000 jobs remain at risk in Nigeria.
With airlines forced to ground operations due to coronavirus pandemic, Nigerian airlines have suffered deep losses like their counterparts across the world.
According to Africa Regional Director of the International Air Transport Association, IATA Funke Adeyemi, Nigeria’s aviation sector has suffered a loss of $700 million, about N270 billion during the coronavirus pandemic.
Adeyemi, who said this during a webinar, titled, ‘A national conversation: Mapping Nigeria’s response to COVID-19’ on Tuesday, added that 90,000 jobs remain at risk in the industry despite plans to restart skeletal operations in the industry.
She said: “Aviation is one of the hardest-hit sectors. Over the past three months, passenger travel reduced by 90 percent. That led to a loss of $28.5 billion in GDP for Africa and put about three million jobs at risk.
“For Nigeria, the loss was colossal; the industry had about $700 million loss and about 90,000 jobs at risk across the entire value chain of aviation.”
Adeyemi, however, thanked the governments of the world for the introduction of the lockdown as the aviation sector could have accelerated the spread of the pandemic.
She noted that the sector had been very supportive of the fight against COVID-19.
She said, “Even though passenger travel was down and none existent, aviation was still supporting the fight against COVID-19 by ferrying medicines and essential provisions around the continent.
“Aviation continues to maintain its criticality – it’s not just a means of transportation; it is actually an economic business, which supports the fight against COVID-19.”
Adeyemi revealed that IATA and other international bodies had reviewed more ways to make air travel safer for passengers.
She said, “The industry has been working proactively to see how we can mitigate the risk of spread where aviation is a vector for spreading and, at the same time, conveying passengers and the government. COVID-19 is with us for some time. There is no solution for it.
“However, what the UN, IATA and ICAO have come up with is a series of biosecurity temporary measures. It would look at the entire end-to-end passenger journey, right from pre-flight where we can collect passenger data and health declaration forms through established platforms, to travel procedures at the airports, and temperature checks.”