The International Air Transport Association (IATA) re-iterated this week the urgent need to re-open borders with COVID-19 testing and for further financial support for aviation as the shutdown continues.
Airlines are burning through cash at an alarming rate and it is essential that governments in Europe and around the world adopt a harmonised approach to safely re-open borders without quarantine by using COVID-19 testing.
Border restrictions and quarantine measures have undermined one of the cornerstones of European development, the free movement of people. It is imperative that governments work together to coordinate a plan to restart the industry. In the meantime, additional financial support is needed to help the industry get through the winter.
The prospect of catastrophic job losses is very real, the Air Transport Action Group estimates some 4.8 million jobs directly connected with air transport are at risk.
"Continued financial support is desperately needed until the industry can get back on its feet," said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA's Regional Vice President for Europe.
IATA's survey of travelers indicates widespread support for testing in place of quarantine:
- 83% will not fly if they have to quarantine on arrival
- 88% say that they are willing to be tested to facilitate travel
- 65% agree that quarantine is not necessary if a person tests negative for COVID-19
- 39% stated that the government should pay for testing while only 25% believed it should be the responsibility of travelers.