Passenger numbers expected to grow to 2.8 billion in 2021.
With the impact of COVID-19, passenger demand plummeted and many airlines fell deep into bankruptcy while others had to take heavy measures to mitigate losses which resulted in thousands in the aviation industry losing their jobs.
IATA reports estimate that the airline industry would lose more than USD300 billion due to the impact of COVID19.
Just this week Rolls-Royce reported their plans to cut 9,000 jobs globally, mostly in civil aerospace by 2022 while Thai Airways reported plans to cut 6-7,000 jobs by 2021.
While national airline Maldivian operated pandemic-related flights, TMA, Manta Air, and Villa Air Flyme remained mostly grounded for months on as the borders were closed in the Maldives. Pay reductions were imposed and few lost their jobs.
Hawwa Thaufeeq, a pilot working at Villa Air Flyme had to stay without any flights for over ten months.
“Due to COVID-19, just like many other airlines all around the world, a lot of flights were canceled due to which we had to take a break. It was disheartening to stay home however the whole aviation industry was hit hard during the pandemic so we were patiently waiting for things to get better and hopefully after about 10 months, flight numbers are picking up.”
“As of now, I am continuing my training to be a commander of ATR at Villa Air and I hope to gain more experience as a commander before transitioning into another post in compliance or safety if given the opportunity.” Said Hawwa Thaufeeq
With the shining tropical sun, the aviation industry is slowly picking up pace in the Maldives with an increase number of flights for all airlines.
With the present rate of arrivals, the yearly target of 1.5 million tourist looks achievable. With these numbers, the aviation industry in the Maldives is expected to survive without any major losses for any airline or employees.
With the global vaccination, if lesser restrictions are implemented locally and internationally, the industry could reach very close to a full recovery earlier than anticipated, especially in the Maldives.
IATA expects passenger numbers to increase by a billion compared to 2020 to 2.8 billion travelers in 2021. The the load factor is expected to improve to 72.7%.
Overall revenues are expected to grow to $459 billion in 2021. This is 45% less than revenue achieved in 2019 however it would be $131 billion improvement to that of 2021.