Tuesday, 15 June 2021 01:15

More global approach needed

Moves by Spain, France and other European states to carefully open borders are a step in the right direction, but restoring global connectivity requires far more than regional or individual state initiatives, according to the International Air Transport Association.

The G20 has endorsed a data-driven approach to managing the risks of Covid-19 while re-opening borders.

‘Connectivity needs countries at both ends of the journey to be open. Many of the world’s largest air travel markets, such Australia, China, the UK, Japan, and Canada remain essentially closed with no clear plans to guide a reopening,’ says Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.

‘Data should help these and other countries to introduce targeted policies that keep populations safe while moving towards a normality in a world with Covid-19 for some time to come,’
says Walsh.

France, Spain's steps welcomed

IATA has welcomed the relaxation of Covid-19 border measures for vaccinated passengers, and the broader use of affordable antigen testing adopted by Spain and France last week.

However, the association says this is tempered by ongoing disappointment at the failure to implement harmonised measures across Europe and deep frustration at the lack of coordination among governments worldwide for a data-driven risk-managed approach to re-establishing the freedom to travel.

Spain has opened its borders to most vaccinated travelers from around the world and allowed EU travelers to enter the country with a negative antigen test. Passengers from low-risk countries (including the UK) can enter without any restrictions.

From 9 June France opened to vaccinated travellers from all but those countries assessed as high risk. Vaccinated travelers from medium-risk countries will need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 antigen or PCR test, and unvaccinated people must still self-isolate for seven days.

‘It’s encouraging to see more European countries taking steps to reopen borders,’ says Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general. ‘They recognise the opportunity created by vaccination and are making travel more affordable with the use of antigen testing. But this approach is not universal across the continent. Many European states have yet to significantly relax borders at all. This fragmentation should be replaced with a unified approach that is consistent with the recommendations of the EU to which they belong. People, businesses and economies would all benefit from greater alignment across Europe in relaxing measures and restoring the freedom to travel.’

Published in Airlines
Wednesday, 09 June 2021 01:29

Damage to be felt for years

Global air passenger numbers are expected to recover to 88% of pre-Covid-19 levels in 2022, according to a long term forecast released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Tourism Economics. This follows what is likely to be a 52% recovery in 2021.

The organisations predict the damage of the Covid-19 crisis will be felt for years to come but say people have retained their desire and need to travel.

The report notes that consumers have accumulated savings in the lockdowns, in some cases exceeding 10% of GDP. Vaccination rates in developed countries (with the notable exception of Japan) should exceed 50% of the population by the third quarter of 2021.

Published in Airlines
Monday, 01 March 2021 20:41

NZ to trial global digital travel pass

Air New Zealand will trial the digital Travel Pass app developed by International Air Transport Association (IATA) on its Auckland-Sydney route in April. The carrier's chief digital officer Jennifer Sepull says the goal is to enable customers to seamlessly manage their digital travel documentation throughout their travel experience.

Published in Airlines
Wednesday, 27 January 2021 00:26

Support for pre-departure Covid-19 tests

The Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ) is supporting the implementation of pre-departure tests.

Airlines have quickly actioned predeparture testing for Covid-19 in the United States and the United Kingdom. Now airlines flying to New Zealand will work with the New Zealand Government to ensure the same testing protocols are in place for other destinations by 25 January.

Published in Airlines
Wednesday, 20 January 2021 00:49

IATA: More Europe disaster

The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA’s) new estimates for the impacts of Covid-19 on air transport and economies in Europe in 2020 indicate a further deterioration in revenues, job prospects and economic activity across the entire continent.

IATA’s latest economic forecast reveals that in 2021 Europe is expected to be the worst hit global region in terms of airline losses (-$11.9 billion). Passenger traffic (measured in revenue passenger km, RPK) is estimated to have

Published in Europe
Tuesday, 01 December 2020 19:32

Connectivity drops

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data revealing that the Covid-19 crisis has had a devastating impact on international connectivity, shaking up the rankings of the world’s most connected cities. 

London, the world’s number one most connected city in September 2019, has seen a 67% decline in connectivity. By September 2020, it had fallen to number eight. New York (-66% fall in

Published in Airlines
Thursday, 03 September 2020 04:34

IATA to travellers: ‘Mask up’

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is appealing to all travellers to wear face covering during the travel journey for the safety of all passengers and crew during COVID-19.

Wearing face coverings is a key recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) guidance for safe operations during the pandemic, as developed jointly with the World Health Organization and governments.

Published in Airlines
Tuesday, 25 August 2020 22:11

Singapore opens up to Kiwis

 

The New Zealand Aviation Coalition (NZAC) is welcoming Singapore’s decision to open its border to Kiwis from September 1.

Singapore announced on August 21 that it will not require anyone who has been in New Zealand for 14 days before their flight to go into self-isolation on arrival.

Instead, travellers will undergo a Covid-19 test at the airport, and only be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore after receiving a negative test result.

Justin Tighe-Umbers, executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ), says the move by Singapore is indicative of what is starting to happen around the world.

‘The world is working out how to live with COVID-19,’ he says. ‘New Zealand will lose international connectivity with airlines pulling out unless it keeps abreast of what its competitors are doing and considers the implications. Once airlines pull out it will be extremely hard to compete to get them back and that will have major impacts for the price of tickets for travellers and for exporters relying on air freight.’

Meantime, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed Singapore’s announcement on the easing of border measures for entry into the country. It is urging other states in the region to look at ways to resume international travel safely, including through the implementation of travel bubbles.

‘COVID-19 has dealt a massive blow to the airline industry and the road to recovery is going to be long and slow,’ says Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific. ‘Our latest forecast indicates that travel demand will not return to 2019 levels until 2024, a year later than previously expected. Key to the recovery is the opening of borders and the lifting of travel restrictions and measures such as quarantine.’ He says Singapore’s announcement is positive and a step in the right direction. ‘We hope to work closely with the government so that Singapore’s aviation industry can restart safely while mitigating the possibility of COVID-19 transmission. And we urge other states in the region to look at ways to resume international travel safely.’

 

 

 

Published in Asia
Monday, 13 July 2020 22:54

Covid-19 spread refuted

Despite a significant percentage of the population fearing that they have a high chance of catching Covid-19 if they fly, and media coverage that often seems to promote this fear, actual evidence and recorded instances appear to indicate the opposite.

Published in Airlines
Thursday, 09 July 2020 21:56

Covid to have ‘long shadow’

The Covid crisis could have a ‘very long shadow’ when it comes to flying and travel in general, according to global research by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). ‘Passengers are telling us that it will take time before they return to their old travel habits,’ says Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

Published in Airlines
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