Travel slump threatens 46 million jobs, aviation group says

Empty sunbeds are seen at Nissi Beach, after Cyprus opened up its airports following a nationwide lockdown amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the resort of Ayia Napa, Cyprus

The impact of the coronavirus on travel may cost as many as 46 million jobs globally, according to projections published on Wednesday by an aviation industry group.

The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) predicted that the travel slump and a slow recovery will threaten 4.8 million aviation workers and more than half of the 87.7 million total jobs supported directly or indirectly by the sector, in related leisure industries and supply chains.

“We know that a lot of jobs in air transport and the wider economy relying on aviation are at risk,” said Michael Gill, who heads the group representing airlines, airports, aircraft makers and other sector players.

The warning came after airlines cut their 2020 traffic forecast amid renewed coronavirus outbreaks and travel restrictions that darkened the outlook. ATAG said its findings drew on research by forecaster Oxford Economics.

Airlines are pressing governments to abandon quarantines and other travel curbs blamed for worsening the slump, and instead roll-out rapid COVID-19 testing at airports.

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