Until the COVID-19 crisis, aviation was a top-ten global emitter. While there is uncertainty regarding air traffic projections over the next year or longer, the sector’s emissions are still expected to rise dramatically by mid-century under a business-as-usual scenario. Aviation alone could consume one-quarter of the remaining global carbon budget. After decades of climate inaction. Now, many airlines are asking for tens of billions of dollars in public bailout money. If state aid is granted, it should primarily serve to protect impacted workers, to avoid major negative effects on the economy, and to continue strategically important services. Rescue operations for airlines and airports which were struggling financially before the crisis are questionable. A recent study by well-known economists Prof. Joseph Stiglitz and Nicholas Stern have rated unconditional airline bailouts as particularly poorly across all economic metrics. This briefing outlines key steps for policy makers if they intend to provide public money for airline bailouts.
CAN International Policy Manual: Sustainable Policy Responses for the Aviation Sector in the COVID Crisis, June 2020