Airlines cut net losses to nearly $7bln in Q2 2021

Airlines around the world are still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but net losses have narrowed over the past few months, according to the latest data. 

Aggregate net losses of carriers stood at nearly $7 billion in the second quarter of 2021, compared to $14.9 billion in the first quarter of the year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its latest financial monitor. 

The best performers for the recent quarter were North American airlines, which swung to a net profit of $96 million, while the rest of the regions continued to bleed cash.

In Asia Pacific, carriers suffered $1.6 billion in losses, while those in Europe and Latin America posted losses of $4.5 billion and $702 million, respectively. 

IATA did not disclose figures for airlines in the Middle East, where some of the world’s biggest long-haul operators are based. Emirates Airline reported in June a loss of $5.5 billion for the 2020-2021 financial year, as revenues plummeted 66 percent. 

The aviation body warned that new pandemic restrictions in some large domestic markets that are on the recovery track, such as China, could pose downside risk to the industry’s recovery. 

“Although the initial Q2 2021 financial results show that net losses narrowed down, downside risks for further recovery are increasing for the coming quarters since new COVID-19 restrictions are affecting some domestic markets that are on the recovery track… Moreover, international travel restrictions remain tight,” IATA said. 

The improvement in performance of North American carriers were due to strong domestic and regional traffic. Other airlines did not perform as well due to “still muted” international travel, IATA explained. 

The UAE has further loosened its COVID-19 restrictions as it continues to ramp up economic recovery. It announced recently that it will be issuing tourist visas to visitors from all countries, provided they have been fully vaccinated. The new rule applies to travellers from countries that were previously restricted to visit the country. 




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