As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to cause lockdowns globally, the future of the Philippines’ aviation industry will be “dicey,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

“The future of the aviation industry, one word: dicey. Kasi mayroon ho tayong kalaban na talagang masyadong madaming variables, ni hindi natin nakikita itong punyeterong Covid na ito. Eh talagang it’s really very dicey,” Tugade said during a televised Palace briefing Tuesday.

Tugade also said many airlines worldwide had declared bankruptcy due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has severely limited international passenger movement.

According to flight tracking site FlightRadar, the global health crisis has caused a 77 percent decrease in passenger flights globally since January.

“But we are mandated locally that we protect and help [ensure] the continued viability and operations of our own local aviation partners,” Tugade said.

On May 11, Air Carriers Association of the Philippines vice chairman Roberto Lim said the country’s aviation industry would lose about P250 billion due to the pandemic, placing 25,000 to 500,000 jobs at risk.

Tugade said the Department of Transport had presented an economic stimulus act to cushion the aviation industry’s losses.

“Sana ho ay magsama-sama tayong magtulungan para nang sa ganoon as we traverse and we as we conquer Covid-19, the subsistence, the continued subsistence and the operation of our local operators are maintained and guaranteed and assured,” Tugade added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro