Resumption of International Air Travel Requires Global Approach

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Aviation supports 65.5 million jobs around the
world, with one job in the industry supporting 24 other jobs in
the wider economy, but these livelihoods are now jeopardized due
to the drastic plunge in travel demand caused by the global
COVID19 pandemic.

Governments around the world are progressively
implementing public health measures such as widespread COVID19
testing, contact tracing and social distancing. Similar measures are also being discussed as
conditions to the resumption of air travel, but such measures need
to be consistent, coherent and coordinated amongst governments
working closely together with airlines, airports and health
authorities, in line with the relevant World Health Organisation
(WHO) guidelines.


Japan Airlines Boeing 767 reg: JA621J. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Mr. Subhas Menon, Association of Asia
Pacific Airlines (AAPA) Director General, said, “Wherever possible
processes such as travellers’ health declarations should be
automated and made available on mobile devices for the convenience
of the travelling public. Departure screening procedures to
mitigate the spread of COVID19 should preferably be applied before
travellers board their flights. Precautionary measures onboard are
being discussed, and will likely include the compulsory wearing of
masks by all travellers and airline crew. Other measures such as
leaving the middle seat empty have been suggested, but would make

air travel much more costly
without any meaningful public
benefit in terms of risk reduction.”

”The resumption of international air travel
requires a global approach and harmonized measures across borders.
AAPA calls on governments to work closely together and collaborate
with industry in developing measures that are standardized,
pragmatic, based on accepted medical standards and a robust risk
management framework, in our common objective of serving the
travelling public and reviving the wider economy,” Mr. Menon
added.

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