IATA now expects the coronavirus outbreak to reduce airline revenues from passenger operations by $252 billion in 2020 – more than double its earlier worst-case-scenario estimate.

That equates to a 44% fall in passenger revenues from 2019 and is driven by a 38% reduction in global traffic measured in RPKs year-on-year and falling yields.

Speaking today as the revised figures were released, IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac described the coronavirus outbreak as the “deepest crisis” the industry has ever faced.

“We need governments to act fast with financial relief”, he states, otherwise “almost half” of airlines would “die” in the coming weeks.

Earlier in March, IATA suggested the impact on revenues would be in the range of $63 billion to $113 billion.

The revised figures come as airlines across the world ground flights amid plummeting demand for air travel and government-imposed restrictions on connectivity.