Around the world, 40% of passengers are planning to wait at least six months or more for air travel due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a survey conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, 60% anticipate that they could return to airline travel after one to two months of containment of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IATA said in a statement.
"Passenger confidence will suffer a double whammy even after the pandemic is contained -- hit by personal economic concerns in the face of a looming recession on top of lingering concerns about the safety of travel," Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and CEO, said in the statement.
"Governments and industry must be quick and coordinated with confidence-boosting measures," he added.
In countries where new coronavirus cases have fallen to low levels, there are indications that passengers are returning to their travel behavior in a cautious manner, the IATA said, but added "an immediate rebound from the catastrophic fall in passenger demand appears unlikely."
"People still want to travel," said de Juniac, adding "As countries lift restrictions, confidence boosting measures will be critical to restart travel and stimulate economies."
"The passenger business came to a halt with unilateral government actions to stop the spread of the virus. The industry restart, however, must be built with trust and collaboration ... We must start building a framework for a global approach that will give people the confidence that they need to travel once again," he explained.
IATA said it estimates around 25 million jobs in aviation and its related value-chains, including the tourism sector, are at risk due to the COVID-19 crisis.
While passenger revenues are expected to be $314 billion, or 55%, less this year than in 2019, demand in the second quarter of 2020 is estimated to plummet by 80% or more compared to the same period of last year, according to the IATA.
IATA represents some 290 airlines comprising 82% of global air traffic.
By Ovunc Kutlu