The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on the Government of Tunisia to provide financial relief measures for the aviation industry in the wake of the economic devastation caused by the pandemic.
IATA estimates that revenues generated by airlines in the Tunisian market will fall by $0.6 billion in 2020, a figure 47% below 2019 levels. The report also shines the spotlight on the 92,700 Tunisian jobs as risk, as well as the $1.2 billion of Tunisia’s GDP normally generated by the aviation sector. Muhammad Albakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East offered this:
“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.”
The report urged officials to kindly consider aviation-specific financial relief measures to ensure that the sector will be capable of driving the recovery. These could include some or all of the following:
- Direct financial support to passenger and cargo carriers
- Financial relief on airport and air traffic control (ATC) charges and taxes
- Reduction, waiver or deferral of government-imposed taxes and fees
Mr. Albakri went on to call on the government to provide the necessary relief to ensure a quick recovery for the air transport and tourism sectors. The plea also concerns modernization across various processes that will mean faster recovery and greater competitiveness for the Tunisian market.
After more than three months with its borders being locked down, Tunisia will reopen its sea, land, and air tourists beginning on June 27th.