Whilst pleas were made by airlines for the reopening of international travel, IATA has taken it one step further by getting customers involved in the struggle.

A Star Alliance

Recently, in the wake of the G7 summit and NATO meetings, airlines rallied together to voice their concerns of the coronavirus travel restrictions and its lasting impact on the aviation sector.

On 9 June, the three global airline alliances, one world, SkyTeam and Star Alliance called on G7 governments to agree on a common set of travel agreements – this was to enable the safe reopening of borders. These included:

  • Fully vaccinated passengers should be exempt from quarantine.
  • COVID-19 testing should be easily accessible, affordable and consistent.
  • Connecting passengers at airports should not be subject to additional testing or quarantine restrictions at the point of transfer if remaining in the transit zone.

This tied in closely with King Phillipe’s visit to Brussels Airport on 10 June to learn about the ‘‘dramatic impact of COVID-19 on aviation’’ and to give his support in the ‘‘relaunch of aviation activities’’- an apt arrangement given that King Phillipe was set to host the NATO summit for President Biden on 15 June.

King Phillipe at Brussels Airport
King Phillipe at Brussels Airport | © Brussels Airport

Whilst Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Biden pledge to resume transatlantic travel as soon as possible, IATA has decided to take matters into their own hands by asking people to act before the industry worsens.

Whilst domestic travel improved in April 2021, international travel remains stalled in the face of government restrictions, and IATA estimated that international passenger demand has dropped a significant -87.3% compared to April 2019.

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General says: “The continuing strong recovery in domestic markets tells us that when people are given the freedom to fly, they take advantage of it. Unfortunately, that freedom still does not exist in most international markets. When it does, I’m confident we will see a similar resurgence in demand”.

‘‘Travelling is a cornerstone of European society and culture is at the heart of IATA’s agenda.’’

Given that more needs to be done by government officials, as previously mentioned at the Travel Arabia Market 2021, IATA is asking travellers to ‘Spread the word’ by sharing IATA’s video on social media, or by asking political representatives or local authority to get involved by sharing fun downloadable posts with them, respectively.

time to reconnect Europe post card
| © IATA
time to reconnect Europe a call from IATA to governments
| © IATA

Taken together, aviation experts and leading airliners are desperate to move forward from COVID-19’s restrictions. Not only do they want acknowledgement but also concrete agreements in the face of stagnation. We have yet to see what will really come of the G7 summit and NATO meetings, but here’s hoping that we will know very soon.

Featured image: | © British Airways 

Do you agree that travel without restrictions should take place amidst COVID-19? Do let us know below!


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