IATA: Countries Must Stick with Agreements Made to Reopen Air Transportation Markets Worldwide

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is once again urging countries worldwide, although their message is particularly directed towards the EU, to open air travel and stick with commitments that they had made to do so.

IATA’s message comes in the form of a statement published by the organization and is just one of many published since 2020 since shutdowns and travel bans began, Schengen-Visa.com reports.

IATA has called attention to two commitments made by governments that are still not yet being met. These commitments are:

  • ‘We commit to taking effective measures to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 and other communicable diseases by international air travel, in particular through the implementation of the ICAO CART guidelines, and encourage the harmonization of Member States’ multilayer risk management strategies to safely restore international connectivity and support the revival of the global economy as a critical step towards achieving our goal to enhance the social, environmental and economic sustainability of aviation, ensuring the interoperability and mutual recognition of, and accessibility to, digital applications, secure transmission and validation of pandemic-related testing, vaccination and recovery certification that protects privacy and personal data.’
  • ‘We commit to promoting, to the greatest extent possible, a harmonized and inclusive approach to facilitate safe international air travel, including alleviating or exempting testing and/or quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated or recovered passengers, taking into account the different circumstances of individual States and their national policies, in keeping with WHO’s policy and technical considerations for implementing a risk-based approach to international travel in the context of COVID-191 , and providing exceptions for non-vaccinated passengers. This will enable us to work towards strengthening the confidence of the travelling public and safely rebuilding international civil aviation.’

According to IATA, governments have made commitments to reopen the air transport market and have failed to do so. As a result, air travel is still down 70% from pre-pandemic levels worldwide, which is jeopardizing 88 million jobs and 3.5% of global GDP.

“Government-imposed restrictions continue to stop a revival of international travel. It remains 70% down on pre-crisis levels. The ICAO HLCC commitments show that governments understand what is needed to re-start global connectivity. The task now is implementation. Some governments have already started. The imminent opening of the US market to vaccinated travelers will be a big step forward. But we cannot let the output of this meeting remain as words on paper. The airline industry, 88 million livelihoods, 3.5% of global GDP and billions of travelers are counting on governments to deliver on the risk-managed reopening of international travel to which they have committed,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Luckily, IATA and ICAO have worked together to find a solution called CART 3.

CART 3 includes the following measures to help reopen air transport:

  • Universal implementation and recognition of testing, vaccination, and recovery certificates.
  •  A synchronized multi-layer risk management system
  • Exemption of fully vaccinated travelers, or those who have recovered from Covid-19 from quarantine and testing requirements
  • Access for air crews to get vaccinated as quickly as possible as recommended by the WHO strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE).

CART 3 could be a good solution for governments to use to reopen air markets safely and effectively.

“CART 3 is a roadmap toward a risk-based, data-driven approach to managing COVID-19. Its recommendations are the building blocks for states to achieve the ambition of the HLCC declaration. After a year-and-a-half of experience with COVID-19 we have the knowledge, data and experience to safely facilitate international travel without border restrictions. All the evidence and recommendations point towards restoring the freedom to travel for those vaccinated. And it is also clear that we have the capability to manage those without access to vaccination using testing,” said Walsh.

IATA is an organization whose purpose is to advocate for the airline industry to authorities and governments worldwide.

To read IATA’s statement, click this link.

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