The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that the airline industry is set to suffer a loss of $77bn in the second half of 2020. 

The warning comes as air travel shows a slow recovery rate even after operations resumed amid the pandemic.

IATA expects the airline industry to lose cash at an average rate of $5bn to $6bn per month in 2021. 

Next year, airlines are expected to go through a further cash drain of $60bn to $70bn. 

The organisation anticipates the industry will remain cash negative until 2022. 

IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said: “We are grateful for this support, which is aimed at ensuring that the air transport industry remains viable and ready to reconnect the economies and support millions of jobs in travel and tourism.  

“But the crisis is deeper and longer than any of us could have imagined.  

And the initial support programmes are running out. Today we must ring the alarm bell again.  

If these support programmes are not replaced or extended, the consequences for an already hobbled industry will be dire.”  

Additionally, IATA urged governments to lend additional assistance for the industry during the winter season.

Governments have so far provided $160bn of support to airlines. 

In separate development, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and IATA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to restart global tourism.  

As part of this agreement, the two parties will focus on restoring confidence in air travel, which is an essential component of global tourism.