The airline industry is ramping up its drive to allow more international travel
The airline industry is ramping up its campaign to ease border restrictions and allow more international travel – even by people who haven’t been vaccinated against the coronavirus – in many countries with high infections Regardless of rate.
The International Air Transport Association, the industry’s trade group, said on Wednesday that governments should use screening measures, such as testing passengers for the virus, rather than imposing quarantines and other restrictions.
The group cited studies that indicate that vaccinated travelers have a very low risk of spreading COVID-19. To strengthen its argument for allowing unvaccinated people to travel as well, the airline group said that between late February and early May only 2.2% of passengers in the United Kingdom tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival. did.
“There is no risk-free approach,” Willie Walsh, the group’s top executive, former CEO of British Airways and Aer Lingus, told reporters. Governments need to accept some risk “and get on with our lives,” he said.
The comments underscore concerns among airline executives that travel recovery may not be fast enough to make the peak summer holiday season a success. He expects officials from wealthy G7 countries to agree to ease travel restrictions during or before the leaders’ summit in England next week.
The airline trade group estimates the industry will lose $48 billion this year after a loss of $126 billion in 2020. The group’s chief economist said last week that air traffic this year would account for 52% of 2019 traffic and would not recover to pre-pandemic levels. till 2023.