Passenger flights dropped by more than 50 percent in the first half of 2020 across the Arab region compared to 2019, a UN economy report found.
The closure of land borders – due to the COVID-19 global pandemic – has widely restricted the movement of people and goods.
Maritime transfer of good, however, has remained fairly consistent despite disruptions, a report by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) titled ‘Impact of COVID-19 on Transport in the Arab Region’ found.
Revenue losses of airline companies in the region are estimated at $38 billion this year, which is only 53 percent of 2019’s revenue, the report said, adding that global air travel is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels before 2023.
ESCWA Executive Secretary Rola Dashti urged Arab Governments to implement support measures for the transport and logistics sector, including financial support, tax rebates, other duties exemptions, and subsiding workers’ salaries and training.
“Governments should strengthen international and regional cooperation to take concerted actions to address the pandemic and its impact on transport and logistics, such as information sharing, mutual recognition of certificates and compliance documents, and border management coordination,” Dashti said.