IATA and ACI urge governments to open borders and massively test passengers

The International Airports Association (ACI) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reiterated the urgent call for governments to use the COVID-19 test to safely reopen borders and restore global connectivity, thereby reducing systemic Aviation industry collapse with financial support can be avoided without generating debt.

These measures would protect countries from importing COVID-19 cases, prevent the travel and tourism sector’s employment crisis, and ensure that the basic aviation structure remains sustainable and able to sustain the economic and social benefits that the world is enjoying depends so much. .

The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) estimates that 46 million jobs are at risk of disappearing due to the loss of connectivity caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The vast majority of them (41.2 million jobs) are in the travel and tourism sector, which depends on aviation. The rest (4.8 million jobs) are spread across areas directly connected to aviation, including airports and airlines.

The aviation sector’s ability to help maintain these jobs is being challenged by the severe and ongoing decline in business:

• ACI estimates the airport industry will experience a 60% decline in revenue and an unprecedented loss of $ 104.5 billion.
• IATA estimates that airline revenues will decrease by at least 50% ($ 419 billion versus $ 838 billion in 2019).

Re-opening borders safely without quarantine measures using a coordinated testing approach of COVID-19 would boost the entire economy and provide a source of revenue for airlines and airports. ACI and IATA asked the ICAO Council’s Aviation Recovery Task Force to develop a globally recognized and recognized testing approach that could be adopted at the national level.

Governments are also urged to discuss the devastating effects of border closings and other government-imposed travel restrictions, and to support aviation viability through direct financial support that:

• Protect jobs and companies,
• Do not increase the debt and
• Minimize debt defaults and credit losses.

“The COVID-19 pandemic remains an existential crisis and airports, airlines and their business partners need direct and rapid financial assistance to protect critical operations and jobs,” said Luis Felipe, general manager of ACI World de Oliveira. “That aid is only part of the puzzle, however, as the industry begins its resumption and prepares to continue operations with an emphasis on the health and wellbeing of travelers, employees and the public. ACI and IATA have joined forces to call for urgent and coordinated government action to roll out passenger testing worldwide so that quarantine measures can be lifted. Without this measure, it is no exaggeration to say that the sector is on the verge of collapse. “

Alexandre de Juniac, General Director and CEO of IATA, said: “We need to act quickly. Large parts of the global airline network have been suffering from serious disruptions for more than half a year.

Job loss – inside and outside the sector – is increasing daily with borders closed. And with the loss of jobs, recovery and the overall economic impact will become even more difficult. The movement is growing in support of the COVID-19 test to reopen borders. This is the main operational priority. And to ensure that the aviation sector is viable at the end of this crisis, a second round of financial assistance is inevitable. “

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulations, the ICA and IATA believe that the costs associated with public health measures to contain the spread of communicable diseases, including the introduction of a coordinated testing approach, must be borne by the government of each country .

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