Aggressive and accelerated intervention to buoy the balance sheets of the floundering airline industry is of utmost importance in mitigating the impact of Covid-19, director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira of the Airports Council International (ACI) World has said.
Following an announcement by the Air Transport Action Group that 46 million jobs worldwide are at risk because of the effect that the crisis has had on the industry, Oliveira said: “The pandemic remains an existential crisis and airports, airlines and their commercial partners need direct and swift financial assistance to protect essential operations and jobs.”
He added that “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”.
Aligned with the ACI’s call for effective intervention is the International Air Transport Association (Iata), resulting in a consolidated appeal “for urgent government action to introduce widespread and coordinated testing of passengers to enable quarantine requirements to be removed”, a statement said.
“Without this action, it is not an exaggeration that the industry is facing collapse,” ACI and Iata stressed in the statement.
Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general and CEO, said: “We need action quickly.
“Large parts of the global air network have been severely ruptured for well over a half year. Job losses – inside and outside the industry – mount with each day that borders are closed.
“And with each job lost the recovery and impact on the broader economy becomes even more difficult. Momentum is building in support of testing to reopen borders. It’s the top operational priority. And to make sure that we have a viable aviation sector at the end of this crisis a second round of financial relief is unavoidable.”
The ACI and Iata statement emphasised that in accordance with the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations, they were 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.