Aviation intelligence group CAPA claims most of the world’s airlines will be bankrupt by the end of May 2020.
The membership organization is calling for urgent “coordinated” government and industry action in light of the impact of coronavirus on the travel industry and the aviation sector in particular.
Its report paints a gloomy analysis of the fate of hundreds of airlines around the globe.
Separately many airlines have been drastically reducing capacity and calling on their own governments for financial aid.
United Airlines says it is slashing is schedules by 50% while American Airlines says it is cutting international flights by 75%.
In Europe, Dutch carrier KLM says up to 2,000 jobs will be cut as well as 40% of flights, while International Airlines Group, the parent of British Airways and Iberia, says it is cutting capacity by 75% in April and May.
The CAPA forecast notes the grounding of fleets and how “cash reserves” are being used up as cancellations outweigh new bookings.
One concern raised by the organization is that governments are acting in isolation and will continue to do so when recovery begins.
It says: "As things stand, the likely tepid response to the airline crisis will equally be fragmented and nationally based. It will consist mostly of bailing out selected national airlines.
"If that is the default position, emerging from the crisis will be like entering a brutal battlefield, littered with casualties.”
CAPA points to the “unilateralism” that has prevailed for 75 years and is calling instead for governments and relevant bodies such as the European Union, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation, to work together and take the opportunity to “reframe the foundations of a global airline industry.”
IATA predicts COVID-19 could cost airlines up to $113 billion in lost revenue.