Airports Council International (ACI) World and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have urged governments worldwide to provide immediate financial relief to assist airport operators and airlines during the Covid-19 crisis.

The government-imposed travel restrictions have inflicted massive losses on these industries, which may result in large-scale job losses.

Globally, the aviation industry is said to support 65.5 million jobs, including 10.5 million people employed at airports and by airlines. It also supports $2.7tn in world economic activity.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to unfold, airports and airlines around the world are engaged in a battle to sustain essential operations and to preserve jobs, the associations said in a joint statement.

To overcome the crisis,  ACI and IATA have called for a taxation relief including alleviation of payroll taxes, corporate taxes, concession fees or other government incomes from the industry.

The associations have also urged the government to provide loans, loan guarantees or direct support to maintain financial liquidity across the aviation ecosystem.

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ACI World director general Angela Gittens said: “The financial impact of the current crisis is unlike anything we have ever seen and requires urgent action by governments to assist the aviation industry to protect jobs, ensure essential operations, and plan for recovery.

“Urgent tax relief and direct financial assistance that is to the benefit of the entire aviation ecosystem is needed to help preserve millions of jobs, protect essential operations, and foster a balanced recovery.”

IATA’s director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said: “Governments must act now with financial lifelines that only they can provide for airlines and airports to see them through these extraordinary times. Airlines and airports are in this together.”

Meanwhile, the global airport industry is working with governments around the world to help curb the spread of the virus.

It is also supporting global supply chains through air cargo operations, including medical shipments critical to fighting the pandemic.

Recently, ACI World released its annual report that outlines the key contributions of the airport industry to the global economy.