Airlines cannot afford to reimburse airline tickets not used by their customers. On Tuesday, Alexandre de Juniac, the director general of the international air transport association (Iata), the organization bringing together all the airlines, hammered him: the reimbursement of canceled flights is simply impossible. Companies, he said, have only one option: to offer vouchers to customers and to keep cash. An imperative to survive. “The key point is to avoid running out of cash. Reimbursement is almost unaffordable financially ”, assures Alexandre de Juniac. The total amount of canceled tickets is estimated at $ 35 billion by Iata.
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The airlines’ inability to reimburse customers has been criticized by consumer associations, tour operators and travel agents alike. The survival of these professionals is also at stake with the cessation of world tourism. They also favored vouchers to preserve their future …
To defend his position, the boss of Iata explains that the collapse of the airlines endangered 25 million jobs worldwide. Air travel has dropped by 70% globally, by 90% in Europe. Only domestic flights remain in the United States and China. However, all trade between continents is stopped, according to Iata.
“This is the worst crisis we have ever gone through,” recalls Alexandre de Juniac. Governments have been very committed to supporting us. But now they have to act. After two months, the airlines are running out of cash. It’s a question of survival.”
From mid-April, Iata should bring together companies, governments and regulators to put in place a “regional approach” to restarting companies.