May 13, 2020 / 9:26 AM / 17 days ago

Saudi Arabia's aviation sector needs direct state support, lobby IATA says

FILE PHOTO: A logo of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is pictured before and an interview with Reuters on the consequences of the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Geneva, Switzerland, March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

DUBAI (Reuters) - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Wednesday urged the Saudi Arabian government to provide financial support to its aviation sector.

Saudi Arabia should consider providing financial aid to airlines and airports, and think about reducing, waiving or deferring government imposes taxes and fees, it said in a statement.

Airlines in Saudi Arabia are estimated to lose $7.5 billion this year due to the coronavirus pandemic that has crushed travel demand, the lobby said.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell, editing by Louise Heavens

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