GENEVA, 18 December 2020:  The International Air Transport Association renewed its campaign calling for employees in the aviation sector to be designated essential workers during the impending Covid-19 vaccine campaign.

IATA has asked governments to prioritise aviation sector
employees for inoculation after health care workers and vulnerable age groups.

IATA’s 76th Annual General Meeting last month unanimously
adopted a resolution stressing aviation worker are essential in the
distribution chain.

“We are not asking for aviation workers to be on top of
the list, but we need governments to ensure that transportation workers are
considered essential when vaccine rollout plans are developed. The
transportation of the Covid-19 vaccines has already begun, and as calculations
show, it will require the equivalent of 8,000 Boeing 747 freighter aircraft for
global distribution. It is therefore essential that we have the qualified
workforce in place to ensure a functioning logistics chain,” said IATA’s
director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

IATA’s call is aligned with the proposed Roadmap for
Prioritising Uses of Covid-19 Vaccines by the World Health Organisation’s
Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE).

It recommends priority populations for vaccination based on
the respective epidemiologic situation and vaccine supply scenarios. Within
this framework, SAGE has included transportation workers alongside other
essential sectors outside health and education sectors, including the police,
for example.

The AGM also reiterated the vital role of air transport in
facilitating the global response to the pandemic, including the timely
distribution of medicines, testing kits, protective equipment and eventually
vaccines around the world.