The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 76th Annual General Meeting (AGM) unanimously resolved to urgently call on governments to reopen borders for travel.
IATA is proposing systematic testing of international travellers, which would permit the lifting of border restrictions and provide an alternative to current quarantine rules.
Quarantines essentially kill demand for air travel and governments need to immediately consider the drastic socio-economic effect this is having, IATA highlighted. International air travel continues to be down 90% on 2019 levels. Current estimates are that as many as 46 million jobs supported by air travel could be lost and that the economic activity sustained by aviation will be reduced by US $1.8 trillion.
“People want and need global mobility. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Take-off measures make flying safe. But border closures, movement restrictions and quarantine measures make travel impossible for most. We must manage how we live with the virus. But that does not have to mean destroying aviation, risking millions of jobs, crippling economies and tearing apart the international social fabric. We could safely open borders today with systematic Covid-19 testing,” says Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.