Millions of aviation jobs at risk, airlines can’t afford refunds: IATA

Global airlines warned that 25 million jobs across the world could be at risk from the coronavirus travel downturn and the industry’s representative body said airline finances were so fragile they could not afford to refund customers.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has held a series of weekly news conferences, issuing increasingly desperate messages about the state of airline industry, and urging governments to help carriers.

In its latest warning, IATA whose members include the likes of Lufthansa LHAG.DE and British Airways parent IAG ICAG.L said global air travel slumped by 70% at the beginning of the second quarter, and its Director General Alexandre De Juniac said airlines could not afford to issue refunds. He said customers should accept vouchers.

“The key element for us is to avoid running out of cash so refunding the cancelled ticket for us is almost unbearable financially speaking,” De Juniac told reporters on Tuesday.

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