The world’s airlines have enough cash to survive for a median six months, Iata research has shown.
New figures show the perilous state of the industry as it enters the winter, with the median 6.3 months extending to just under 18 months for the most cash-rich and only one month for carriers with poor reserves.
This is despite combined state aid amounting to $161 billion having been paid to airlines.
Thierry Stucker, Iata payment programme director, revealed the data at the World Aviation Festival.
“Cash may run out for some airlines,” he said, adding the second quarter of 2020 had been “a logistical nightmare” as customers had asked for refunds.
“After a few weeks, airlines were in a negative situation which they were never in before.
“Airlines (usually) face 1-2% cancellations. All of a sudden it was 80%. You can probably imagine the challenge this presented. It was worse than 9/11 in terms of disruption.”
Concerns about airline collapses have already seen merchant acquirers try to mitigate the impact by introducing capping.
Stephane Druet, CellPoint Digital senior vice-president, product and marketing predicted there would be an ongoing impact after the pandemic: “What will happen is acquirers will try to spread the risk; airlines will be forced to use multiple acquirers.”