IATA: Mideast Governments Not Backing their Airlines
As countries in other regions have pledged to back airlines in financial trouble over coronavirus restrictions, a top official of IATA, the International Air Transport Association, says governments in the Middle East are not doing enough. “We have not seen the desired movements and decisions of governments and decision-makers to… put on the table the economic stimulation packages and the rescue packages, financial packages necessary to keep the airlines in the region alive,” Muhammad Albakri, IATA’s vice president for the Middle East, told reporters on Thursday during a conference call. According to Albakri, IATA, which represents 290 airlines around the world, wants regional governments to “really prioritize aviation and announce specific rescue measures for the airlines and aviation industry in line with other nations.” Small air carriers around the world are already folding. The Middle East, home to some of the biggest names in air transport, has seen revenue losses for its airlines rise to an estimated $24 billion due to the pandemic, according to IATA.