IATA wants urgent financial relief to Tunisia’s aviation industry

 

***Country’s market to fall by $0.6 billion in 2020

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Muhammed AlBakri has called on the Government of Tunisia to urgently provide financial relief measures for the aviation industry in order to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the nation’s economy.

The global airline body estimates that revenues generated by airlines in the Tunisian market will fall by $0.6 billion in 2020, 47 per cent below 2019 levels.

That puts at risk 92,700 Tunisian jobs and $1.2 billion of Tunisia’s GDP, which is generated by aviation and its supply chain as well as air transport-dependent tourism.

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“Tunisia’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism. Air transport is essential in providing connectivity and supporting tourism, which is a key economic driver for the country.

The government has introduced broad taxation-related relief measures but given the central role that air transport and tourism play in Tunisia’s economy, special attention must be placed on providing aviation-specific relief,” said Albakri.

 

He urged the government to kindly consider aviation-specific financial relief measures to ensure that the sector will be capable of driving the recovery.

He listed the measures to include direct financial support to passenger and cargo carriers, financial relief on airport and air traffic control (ATC) charges and taxes and reduction, waiver or deferral of government-imposed taxes and fees.

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“As we look to restart the industry, we call on the government to provide the necessary relief to ensure smooth and quick recovery for the air transport and tourism sectors as they are key drivers in Tunisia’s economy. We also look to the Government of Tunisia to facilitate expediting the needed implementation and modernization of the airline distribution programs and mechanisms within the air transport sector.

“Allowing for modernization across various processes will mean faster recovery and greater competitiveness for the Tunisian market which has always been one of the leading tourism nations in Africa and the Middle East,” said Albakri.

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Wole Shadare