ACI, IATA call for urgent industry-wide support to underpin recovery

MONTREAL/ GENEVA: Airports Council International (ACI) World and International Air Transport Association (IATA) have reinforced the urgent call for governments to use testing as a means to safely re-open borders and re-establish global connectivity.

This is essential to prevent the systemic collapse of aviation industry with non-debt generating financial support, they said.

The dual measures will protect countries from the importation of COVID-19 cases, avert an employment crisis in travel and tourism sector, and ensure that critical aviation structure remains viable and able to support economic and social benefits on which the world relies.

The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) estimates that 46 million jobs are at risk because of the loss of connectivity caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The vast majority of these (41.2 million jobs) are in travel and tourism sector which relies on aviation.

The remainder (4.8 million jobs) are spread across direct employment in aviation, including airports and airlines. The viability of airline sector to support employment is being challenged by the severe and prolonged fall in business. ACI estimates the airport industry will suffer a 60 per cent reduction in revenues, reaching an unprecedented minus 104.5 billion dollars. IATA estimates that airline revenues will be down at least 50 per cent (419 billion dollars compared to 838 billion dollars in 2019).

“The COVID-19 pandemic remains an existential crisis and airports, airlines and their commercial partners need direct and swift financial assistance to protect essential operations and jobs,” said ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira.

“But such assistance is only one piece of the puzzle as the industry restarts and prepares to sustain continuing operations focused on the health and welfare of travellers, staff and the public,” he said.

“ACI and IATA are aligned in calling for urgent government action to introduce widespread and coordinated testing of passengers to enable quarantine requirements to be removed. Without this action, it is not an exaggeration that the industry is facing collapse,” said de Oliveira. Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“We need action quickly. Large parts of the global air network have been severely ruptured for well over a half year,” he added.

In accordance with World Health Organisation’s (WHO) international health regulations, ACI and IATA are united in the belief that costs related to public health measures aimed at mitigating the spread of communicable diseases, including the introduction of a coordinated approach to testing, should be borne by national governments.

Source: ANI

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