Airports Council International World offers industry recovery plan

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Airports Council International (ACI) World officials have outlined an aviation industry recovery plan in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, urging direct government financial support for the entire ecosystem.

“As the airport sector, as an integral part of the global aviation ecosystem, has been among the industries most affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic and is confronted by a crisis of liquidity and existential uncertainty, financial support is urgently needed to support industry restart and protect essential operations,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said.

ACI indicated the policy brief, Path to the airport industry recovery—Restoring a sustainable economic equilibrium, details policy, and assistance proposals governments can adopt to accelerate the global industry restart and ensure a sustained recovery.

The organization recently determined the airport industry is anticipating global passenger numbers to decrease by 5.6 billion this year, along with a record $104.5 billion reduction in revenue.

ACI said the measures include governments providing short-term loans or one-time cash injections to minimize default on debt and credit losses; airport rents and concession fees applicable to airport operators be waived in the form of a one-time measure for a defined period of time, without the requirement for airports to pay back the waived amounts later; and regulators pursuing temporary relaxation of limits and allowances for selected duty-free products, as a means of stimulating sales and helping airports generate revenues from concessionaires.

“Unprecedent times require unprecedent measures, and timely and appropriate government action that will facilitate the recovery of the entire industry with coordinated and targeted assistance and policy support is urgently needed,” de Oliveira said.