Transport sector is seeing biggest crisis since World War II - Linkaits

  • 2020-03-31
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The transport sector has not seen such a huge crisis since World War II, said Latvian Transport Minister Talis Linkaits (New Conservative Party) in an interview with LETA.

He said that consequences will be felt also after the Covid-19 pandemic is stopped.

"Aviation experts say that even September 11 crisis was nothing compared to this. We cannot predict for how long this will last, we cannot predict how passengers, cargo transportation companies, airlines will react after the outbreak of the virus is localized and transportation is resumed," the minister said, adding that it will take long to return to normal.

Speaking about the sectors affected most by the Covid-19 crisis, Linkaits said that "of course, it is aviation, but also any passenger transportation across borders - it is international tourism, international buses, railway, also postal services".

He said that there are segments that benefit from the situation, for example, air cargo transportation, ferry cargo transportation.

Asked about the possible development scenarios for the aviation companies, Linkaits said that it is not yet known when this new situation is over, how the society will recover and how much will use aviation services in the future.

"It is hard to tell. Of course, it will also depend on how the situation develops in other European and world countries - will we be able to fly freely, will there be any restrictions," the minister said.

As reported, in an effort to prevent Covid-19 from spreading further in Latvia, a state of emergency came into force on March 13, setting a number of tough restrictions. The state of emergency is in force until April 14. The emergency measures include a ban on all international passenger transportation by air, sea, roads and railway.