The Colombian authorities is contemplating extending loans to the nation’s airways, because the coronavirus pandemic has grounded their fleets and worn out most of their income by not less than June.Altogether, the nation’s airways would wish some $1.2 billion in monetary support to remain in enterprise with out flying by the center of the yr, in accordance with the Worldwide Air Transport Affiliation, an business commerce group. A lot of the cash would possible go to Avianca, which accounts for about half of Colombia’s flights and passengers. Avianca filed for Chapter 11 chapter safety in the USA final week.Governments worldwide — from Singapore to the Netherlands and the US — have devoted greater than $85 billion to prop up airways throughout the coronavirus pandemic, in accordance with a Bloomberg Information evaluation. However the request for monetary support is controversial in much less wealthy Latin American economies, the place thousands and thousands stay in poverty and public well being methods are ill-equipped to answer a large-scale well being disaster.Associated: ‘Reckoning day’ might be forward for airline business amid coronavirus challengesMedellín-based Vivia Air, Colombia’s largest low-cost service, has not laid off any of its roughly 730 staff however has instituted across-the-board wage cuts, the corporate’s chief government, Felix Antelo, informed The World. Antelo’s wage was lowered by 70%. The corporate is asking the federal government for a $50 million bridge loan to restart operations as soon as air visitors returns, he mentioned.”Not for a bailout, not for aid,” Antelo mentioned. “It’s a loan that we will repay, obviously, and those are figures that are reasonable for a country like Colombia.”Carolina Cortizo, managing director of Bogotá-based airline, Wingo, which employs about 230 people, said the company has reduced its costs by 20% — “which would have seemed awesome pre-COVID[-19]” — however is trying to make additional cuts. The corporate is searching for a loan from the federal government of lower than $12.5 million, she mentioned.“There’s nothing I want more than to get our planes back in the sky,” Cortizo mentioned. “Our team has been putting a huge effort into the back-to-normal of our airline.”Associated: Governments supply support as airways pressured to deepen cuts to flights, staffingBut many leaders in Latin America possible see air journey as a luxurious and may be reluctant to increase assist to airways throughout the disaster, mentioned Thijs Boonekamp, an economist with search engine optimisation Amsterdam Economics, a assume tank. In Colombia, about 1 in 4 folks stay under the poverty line. And in Mexico, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador halted the development of a brand new airport for Mexico Metropolis as a result of he mentioned it will characterize no profit to the working poor. Latin American international locations have much less “fiscal space” than richer economies to assist airways, mentioned Tomás Serebrisky, an economist with the Inter-American Growth Bank.“They are allocating those resources to more immediate and urgent needs like the need to revamp the health system, or provide income support to the most vulnerable poor of the population,” Serebrisky mentioned.