His Excellency Eng. Abdenbi Manar, Director General of the Arab Civil Aviation Organization, participated on 05-06 April 2021 in the works of a symposium on "The Economic Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Civil Aviation Sector". This symposium was held via telecommunication technology in partnership with the International Civil Aviation Organization Cairo Regional Bureau, the Arab Civil Aviation Organization, the Arab Air Transport Association, the International Air Transport Association and Airports Council International, in line with the results of the third virtual meeting DGCA-MID held on December 7, 2020.
The symposium featured the participation of all aviation stakeholders (airlines, airports, civil aviation authorities, air navigation service providers, etc.) and even other sectors such as tourism, health and economy. The discussion and study dealt with topics that were mainly:
- The global and regional economic impact of COVID-19 on aviation, tourism, airlines and airports, civil aviation authorities and on air navigation service providers.
- Guidance on the economic and financial measures provided for the recovery of the sector.
- A survey of economic and financial measures for the civil aviation sector following the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The role of financial institutions in supporting the aviation industry to recover from the crisis.
- Study an action plan to ensure the recovery and sustainable development of the air transport sector.
The participation of the General Administration of the organization during the second day of this seminar covered the results of the first version of the survey on: Economic and financial measures for the civil aviation sector following the COVID-19 pandemic through a presentation made by HE excellency Eng. Abdenbi Manar, on where he outlined the extent of the Covid-19 pandemic’s great impact on it, as governments around the world have adopted and implemented strict health and safety measures to contain the Corona virus, such as measures of physical distancing, restricting travel and freedom of movement of people, stopping flights and closing borders. Consequently, governmental travel restrictions and the great decline in travelers' confidence led to a decline in global demand for travel by about 60% last year, and this means that about 1.8 billion passengers traveled in 2020, compared to 4.5 billion travelers in 2019, and in a sector where profit margins were already weak, this means that Airlines have lost $ 118 billion, and the worst is yet expected.
His Excellency stated that the Arab aviation sector, which contributes for a number of countries in the region, in important shares of their GDP and job opportunities due to the strategic location of the countries of the region and their correlational relations with global aviation routes, has not in turn escaped the consequences of this global crisis.
From this standpoint, the Organization's General Administration conducted a survey on the economic and financial measures of the civil aviation sector following the COVID-19 pandemic. This document dealt with identifying the means of support provided to these companies to overcome the aforementioned challenges, including assistance provided in restarting the system, as well as the approved economic States’ relief measures to achieve a balance between the economic needs of all actors in the aviation sector. The study enquired on the extent to which the civil aviation sector was included in the economic relief programs implemented by Arab countries, and on the party calling for the implementation of these measures, as well as the type of measures that have been put in place for the benefit of the civil aviation sector, and on the entities eligible for relief measures and what are the obligations or conditions that apply to aviation support, based on reports submitted by 11 Arab countries out of 21 organized under the umbrella of the Arab Civil Aviation Organization, i.e. a representation rate of 53%.