A recent study revealed that the spread of the “Covid-19” pandemic in the Arab region led to a decrease in the number of air transport flights for passengers by more than half during the first half of 2020, compared to the same period of a year ago.
According to the study published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), entitled “Effects of the” Covid-19 pandemic “on the region Arab: transport, “the freight forwarding sector was not significantly affected. With the pandemic in the region, which shows flexibility towards the various factors of imbalance, with variable impact at the country level.
And it predicted that the total number of passengers on flights to, from and within the Arab region will decrease in 2020 to reach around 154 million passengers, bringing the number of passengers back to 2009 levels.
The study estimated total revenue losses for airlines in the region in 2020 at around $ 38 billion, or roughly 53 percent of last year’s revenue. International air travel is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels before 2023.
The study also predicted a decline in the revenues of the land transport sector in the region by 22% in 2020. On the other hand, the number of visits by commercial cargo ships in the region only decreased by 1% during the first 31 weeks of 2020. compared to the same period in 2019, and the number of visits remained.Container ships to ports are stable, while the number of port visits to passenger ships was strongly affected, having decreased by 40.1%.
ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti urged governments of Arab countries to adopt support packages for the transport and logistics services sector, including financial support and tax cuts, tax exemptions and exemptions, and support for wages and training of workers.
He added: “Governments should strengthen international and regional cooperation in order to take concerted and concerted action to address the pandemic and its impact on transport and logistics, such as information exchange, mutual recognition of certificates and compliance documents. and the coordination of border management “.