The Airports Council International (ACI) World and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have called on the government again to use testing as a method to safely reopen borders.
Along with resuming global connectivity, non-debt financial support also has to be generated
These measures would protect countries from importing the COVID-19 and would also reduce the unemployment rate in the tourism industry.
This urgent call comes again in the light of the ACI estimation that the airport industry will suffer a – 60 percent reduction in revenues. This will amount to USD 104.5 billion.
The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) predicts that around 46 million jobs are at stake because of the industry coming to a standstill. Out of this, 41.2 million jobs are in the tourism sector that rely on aviation. The remaining 4.8 million jobs are spread across the aviation industry. This includes airlines and airports.
Back in June, IATA had predicted that airline revenues will be down by at least 50 percent. This means that will the revenues will be around USD 419 billion compared to USD 838 billion in 2019.
The call urges the government to safely reopen borders without quarantines. By using a coordinated approach in testing, the aviation sector could slowly start its recovery.
Apart from this, ACI and IATA have requested the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council Aviation Recovery Task Force to develop an internationally agreed and recognised approach to testing. This method can then be implemented at a global level.
Governments need to step in through direct financial support that:
- Protects jobs and operations
- Does not increase debt levels
- Minimises default on debt and credit losses.
Luis Felipe de Oliveira, Director General, ACI World, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic remains an existential crisis. Airports, airlines, and their commercial partners need direct and swift financial assistance to protect essential operations and jobs. But such assistance is only one piece of the puzzle as the industry restarts and prepares to sustain continuing operations focused on the health and welfare of travellers, staff, and the public. ACI and IATA are aligned in calling for urgent government action to introduce widespread and coordinated testing of passengers to enable quarantine requirements to be removed. Without this action, it is not an exaggeration that the industry is facing collapse.”
Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, IATA, added, “We need action quickly. Large parts of the global air network have been severely ruptured for well over a half year. Job losses—inside and outside the industry—mount with each day that borders are closed. And with each job lost the recovery and impact on the broader economy becomes even more difficult. Momentum is building in support of testing to re-open borders. It’s the top operational priority. A second round of financial relief is unavoidable if we want to have a viable aviation sector post-COVID.”