APEX Calls For $250 Billion Government Support for Airlines During COVID-19

Image: Juhasz Imre

Following its recent request regarding tax relief for airlines, the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) has expanded its call for government action in response to COVID-19.

APEX is advocating that $250 billion be issued in global government support for the airline industry. “Our world must immediately respond to protect its global airline industry with a quarter-trillion dollars in retroactively rebated taxes and emergency loans to its airlines and suppliers,” stated APEX CEO, Dr. Joe Leader. “Airlines need this support for safety, security and survival against the unprecedented passenger shutdown triggered by COVID-19.”

The call both endorses and builds upon a proposal from Airlines for America (A4A) for $58 billion in financial support for airlines in the United States ($50 billion for passenger carriers and $8 billion for cargo carriers).

APEX believes that both global airlines and airline suppliers will need support to weather the COVID-19 crisis. As such, the association suggests that 80% of global government support for the aviation industry should go directly to airlines, with the remaining 20% allocated to airline suppliers. This means that for the US alone, an additional $12.5 billion would be required to support airline suppliers on top of the $50 billion requested by A4A for passenger carriers.

Without government action, APEX is of the opinion that there is the potential for a global economic depression, which by definition includes any reduction in global GDP of more than 10%, and the effects of COVID-19 have already seen the global airline industry pass this critical mark.

“The economic impact on the global airline industry already surpasses the economic events of 2001 and 2008 combined,” explained Dr. Leader. “Global governments must react in a coordinated manner to support their airlines in each nation. Otherwise, there may be permanent damage to nations and areas that are not fully supportive in this time of dramatic COVID-19 crisis.”

To protect the airline industry, APEX is recommending the following actions be taken by governments and organizations globally:

coronavirus government support for airlines

APEX’s International Flight Services Association (IFSA) Government Affairs team will work alongside A4A in Washington; Airlines for Europe (A4E) in Brussels; and IATA. The IFSA Government Affairs team will also support its airline and supplier members.

Read APEX’s suggested best practices for airlines and industry updates related to COVID-19.