Airlines at risk as travel job losses continue to increase

Airlines at risk as travel job losses continue to increase
European airlines have been severely impacted by the coronavirus outbreak

Up to 75 million tourism-related jobs and half of Europe’s airlines are at immediate risk according to latest analysis of the damage being wreaked on business by the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Industry representative group the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) said, on average, one million jobs are being lost every day in the tourism sector due to the spread of the pandemic.

Its forecast of 75 million jobs at risk, globally, marks a 50% increase in less than two weeks.

The WTTC said the damage to the tourism sector represents an estimated $2.1 trillion loss for the global economy this year.

While the Asia-Pacific region accounts for nearly 50 million of those jobs – and China, alone, around 26 million - things here are drastic too.

An estimated 150,000 tourism jobs have been lost in Ireland to the virus, with the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation this week warning that figure could rise to 200,000 in the near-term.

Ireland’s largest hotel operator, Dalata – which owns the Clayton and Maldron chains - now expects a 16% year-on-year fall in first quarter revenues.

The group said travel and social restrictions have “severely impacted” its business over the last two weeks and it expects that trend to continue.

Dalata has shelved dividend payments to shareholders and is cutting executive pay. It is also temporarily closing several of its hotels across Ireland and the UK and reducing operating capacity at remaining ones.

“This is an unprecedented situation and we are working hard to mitigate the implications for our business,” said chief executive Pat McCann.

“Our primary focus is on protecting our people, protecting our business and protecting our cash,” he said.

Meanwhile, Davy aviation analyst Stephen Furlong has estimated that half of Europe’s 120 or so airlines could cease to exist – either by being bought, going bust, or being broken up - after the virus runs its course.

He said Aer Lingus owner IAG and Ryanair look the most secure, but all the strong European airlines should recover.

However, all will suffer some level of pain through further fixed cost reductions while long haul routes may recover more slowly than short haul.

“We continue to believe that the European market will follow the US model of consolidation. The current crisis will hasten this,” Mr Furlong said.

More on this topic

Killarney could prove to be barometer for tourism recoveryKillarney could prove to be barometer for tourism recovery

Brennan brothers plan to keep Park Hotel in Kenmare open despite Covid-19 slumpBrennan brothers plan to keep Park Hotel in Kenmare open despite Covid-19 slump

John Daly: How the tourism of wellness promises to be a business tonicJohn Daly: How the tourism of wellness promises to be a business tonic

Dublin hotel group see drop in pre-tax profits Dublin hotel group see drop in pre-tax profits

More in this Section

Department to finalise proposals to help travel and tourism sectorDepartment to finalise proposals to help travel and tourism sector

EasyJet founder warns airline could ‘run out of money by August’EasyJet founder warns airline could ‘run out of money by August’

Airline Norwegian hit by 61% fall in passenger numbers in MarchAirline Norwegian hit by 61% fall in passenger numbers in March

PwC: More supports needed for businessesPwC: More supports needed for businesses


Lifestyle

Easy and cost-effective ways you can spruce up your home. By Carol O’CallaghanStaying in is the new going out: Easy and cost-effective ways to spruce up your home

Need a funny, hopeful read? Hannah Stephenson rounds up the best.10 uplifting books to cheer you up on dark days

Esther N McCarthy put the call out to Irish crafters and grafters this week. Let's support our local makers, all of these are available onlineWish List: Supporting Irish crafters selling online

Shane Johnson takes a look (and listen) at two recent electronic full-lengths.Album reviews: Wajatta and Takeleave provide beats and pieces

More From The Irish Examiner