IATA anticipate airlines globally losing $84 billion in 2020, $16 billion in 2021. Airline CO2 down 37% from 2019 level in 2020

The massive reduction globally in air travel demand, due to the coronavirus, will mean the airline sector will probably lose about $84bn (£66 billion) this year.  [In February, it was anticipating a loss of $29 billion]. IATA says airline revenues would drop to $419bn in 2020, down 50% from 2019.  IATA said it expects airlines to lose $230 million on average each day in 2020, with half as many air passengers as in 2019 – returning to the level in 2006.  IATA has to be bullish about the prospects for 2021, saying they anticipate the loss globally to be $15.8 billion, as revenues start to increase and passenger numbers return to 2014 levels. If there is a second wave of Covid globally, that will not happen. Airlines have been given billions in aid, to tide them over the pandemic crisis. IATA expects RPKs (Revenue Passenger Kilometres) to fall from 8.68 trillion in 2019, to 3.93 trillion in 2020 (and perhaps 6.10 trillion in 2021. They expect the load factor to fall from  82.5% in 2019, to 62.7% in 2020, maybe partly due to social distancing on planes, as well as low demand. They anticipate carbon emissions of global airlines to be 574 million tonnes CO2 in 2020, a 37% fall from the 914 million tonnes in 2019. And perhaps rising back to 748 million tonnes by 2021.


Coronavirus: Airlines set for ‘worst’ year on record

9 June 2020  (BBC)

The plunge in travel caused by the coronavirus will drive airline losses of more than $84bn (£66bn) this year, a global industry group has warned.

The International Air Transport Association, which has 290 member airlines, said revenues would drop to $419bn, down 50% from 2019.

That is steeper than initially forecast and comes despite recent signs that travellers are returning to the skies.

This year will go down as the “worst” on record financially, the group said.

“There is no comparison,” said Alexandre de Juniac, chief executive of the group.

The group said it expected airlines to lose $230m on average each day this year as the number of travellers falls to 2.25 billion, roughly halving from last year.

That will erase more than a decade of growth, returning the industry to 2006 levels.

The association said the industry would see losses again next year, but the damage would drop significantly – to $15.8bn – as revenues start to rebound and passenger numbers climb back to 2014 levels.

“Provided there is not a second and more damaging wave of Covid-19, the worst of the collapse in traffic is likely behind us,” Mr de Juniac said.

Slow recovery
IATA had previously warned that airlines would lose $314bn this year, after air traffic all but disappeared in April, when governments around the world imposed limits on travel to try to control the spread of the virus.

While there are signs travel is starting to pick up, the recovery has been slow, complicated by economic downturn and government quarantines.

In the US, the Transportation Security Administration screened more than 440,000 people at airport checkpoints on Sunday. That’s up from fewer than 100,000 people in April, but still down more than 80% from last year.

Companies have responded to the crisis by grounding fleets, scaling back service and cutting thousands of jobs. In coming months, IATA said firms are likely to lower prices in an effort to tempt back travellers, worsening their financial situation.

Some airlines such as Flybe have already failed, while other have received millions in emergency government aid.

Mr de Juniac said continued support is needed.

“Government financial relief was and remains crucial as airlines burn through cash,” he said.

Industry groups, including IATA, have also called on the UK government to remove the 14-day quarantine on passengers entering the country.

Keeping such rules in place through the end of the summer could cost the UK $186bn and 2.9 million jobs, the World Travel & Tourism Council warned on Tuesday. That is up from the 1.2 million the organisation had previously said were at risk as a result of the pandemic.

“The sector’s recovery risks being undermined by heavy-handed restrictions just as it emerges from one of the most punishing periods in its history – and it’s not just airlines who will bear the cost but the entire travel ecosystem,” said Gloria Guevara, the group’s president.

A long, long time ago, IATA forecast that global airline revenues would fall by $29bn this year. The news generated shocked headlines.

Actually, that was only in late February. IATA has revised its projections a few times since then. The figure now stands at a colossal $419bn.

It’s a sign of just how quickly the Covid-19 pandemic developed- and how the industry went from worrying about the disruption to traffic to and within China, to grounding 95% of flights worldwide.

Put simply, grounded planes aren’t making money – while storing and maintaining them comes at a hefty cost.

Now, air traffic is slowly picking up as countries open up again. But airlines are still collectively facing a net loss of $84bn this year – where they had been expecting a $35bn profit.

It’s a difference which will be measured in tens of thousands of lost jobs and livelihoods ruined.



Link to IATA data

Some comments and figures pulled out of these, by Dan Rutherford, of the ICCT (International Council on Clean Transportation, in the US).

IATA has released airline economic, traffic, and environmental forecasts for 2020 and 2021.

A few reflections.

Full year RPKs (trillion): (Revenue Passenger Kilometres)
8.68 (2019)
3.93 (2020F; -55%)
6.10 (2021F, -30% from 2019)

Full year CTKs (million):  (Cargo Tonne Kilometres)
254 (2019)
211 (2020F; -17%)
263 (2021F, +4% from 2019)

So a quicker recovery for air freight, but even that will be depressed this year.

Passenger load factor:
82.5% (2019)
62.7% (2020F; -20 p.p)
73.8% (2021F, -9 p.p from 2019)

This will translate to going backwards on profitability and fuel efficiency.

CO2 (million tonnes):
914 (2019)
574 (2020F; -37%)
748 (2021F, -18% from 2019)

This would put 2020 emissions at below 2004 levels, and 2021 emissions back to 2015 levels

Watch out for this one being “spun” by the industry:

Fuel consumption (L/100 RTK  Litres of fuel per 100 revenue passenger kilometres)

in 100  kg/pax):
32.4 (2019)
37.8 (2020F; +17%)
34.0 (2021F, +5% from 2019)
So 2019 load factors will really hurt fuel efficiency. Fuel costs should remain low, though.
But fuel consumption in L/100 ATK [Available Tonne Kilometres] is projected to actually improve by 1% in 2020. That’s because load factors are cratering and empty seats are lighter to fly than people. So please, please don’t use this metric. !