GENEVA 26 November 2020: Pressure on governments to act increases as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 76th Annual General Meeting (AGM) unanimously resolved to call on governments to reopen borders to travel urgently.

IATA is proposing systematic testing of international
travellers which would permit the lifting of border restrictions and provide an
alternative to current quarantine rules.

Quarantines kill demand for air travel, and governments need
to immediately consider the drastic socio-economic impact this is having, the
IATA press statement claimed. 
International air travel continues to dip 90% on 2019 levels. Current
estimates are that as many as 46 million jobs supported by air travel could be
lost and that the economic activity sustained by aviation will be reduced by
USD1.8 trillion.

“People want and need global mobility. The International
Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Take-off measures make flying safe. But
border closures, movement restrictions and quarantine measures make travel
impossible for most. We must manage how we live with the virus. But that does
not have to mean destroying aviation, risking millions of jobs, crippling
economies and tearing apart the international social fabric. We could safely
open borders today with systematic Covid-19 testing,” said  IATA’s director general and CEO, Alexandre de
Juniac.

Other AGM resolution

IATA reaffirmed the industry’s continuing commitment to
implementing agreed biosafety protocols worldwide.

It encouraged governments to implement guidance developed by
ICAO,

Asked governments to ensure that aviation staff and
international travellers are prioritized for Covid-19 vaccination once safe and
effective treatments become available, and health care workers and vulnerable
groups have been protected.

The AGM also reinforced 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.