The International Air Transport Association has called on governments to partner with the air transport industry to devise plans to safely re-link people, business and economies when the Covid-19 epidemiological situation permits.
A priority for this critical cooperation is acceleration of the establishment of global standards for vaccination and testing certification.
“We can see the light at the end of the tunnel as vaccination programs roll out.
“Turning this vision into a safe and orderly re-start will require careful planning and coordination by governments and industry.
“This will be challenging as the priority for the weeks and months ahead will be containing the spread of new variants.
“But even as the crisis deepens, it is important to prepare the way for a resumption of flights when the epidemiological situation permits,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA chief executive.
“Understanding government policy benchmarks and agreeing the global standards needed to support a return to normality in travel will ensure that air transport is well-prepared and does not become a meaningful vector for reimportation. Airlines are ready to support governments in this task.”
When governments do turn their attention to re-establishing global air connectivity, IATA is ready to partner with them to facilitate a globally consistent, efficient and effective approach, the body said.
IATA said some governments were already evolving principles in their testing/vaccination programs that could form the foundation for global harmonisation.
“There are plenty of moving parts in the equation.
“The number of people vaccinated, and the availability of testing are key among them.
“Airlines have adapted their operations in order to maintain cargo operations and some passenger services, while complying with the numerous and uncoordinated restrictions imposed.
“Building on this experience they can help governments with their preparations for eventually safely re-establishing global connectivity for their people, businesses and economies,” said de Juniac.