Hundreds of thousands of aviation jobs are at risk without more state aid, a global industry body has warned.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has downgraded its traffic forecast for 2020, after “a dismal end of the summer travel season”.
The association, which represents 290 airlines, says it expects traffic to be 66% below the level it was in 2019.
IATA estimates that it will take at least 2024 before air traffic reaches pre-pandemic levels.
A second wave of Covid-19 cases and more government restrictions mean the sector has not seen a strong rebound.
The travel industry has seen a sharp drop in business after the coronavirus turned into a pandemic.
Throughout the year, major airlines, airports and tour operators collectively announced thousands of job cuts.
“Without additional government relief measures and a reopening of borders, hundreds of thousands of airline jobs will be lost,” said IATA chief executive Alexandre de Juniac.
He called for regular Covid-19 tests to be carried out on passengers before flights depart, to boost consumer confidence in air travel and make governments more willing to open borders.
Airlines have already shown signs of a struggle this year.
Earlier this month, Virgin Atlantic announced it was cutting 1,150 additional jobs, in addition to the 3,500 jobs it had already cut earlier in the year.
The move, she said, was necessary for her survival and was part of a £ 1.2bn ($ 1.5bn) bailout to secure her future for at least 18 months.
Last month, the world’s largest airline, American Airlines, announced it would cut 19,000 jobs in October when a government wage support program ends. The jobs lost represent 30% of its pre-pandemic workforce.
And earlier this year, United Airlines said as many as 36,000 jobs were at risk. German Lufthansa has warned it could cut 22,000 jobs, and British Airways said it was cutting up to 13,000 jobs.