Alexandre de Juniac, CEO of the International Air Transport Association (Iata), has made a strong appeal for the relaxation of Covid-19 quarantine measures in a bid to open the airways to more passenger traffic, a move that could significantly benefit air freight through belly cargo.
Speaking during a press briefing yesterday, De Juniac said: “For countries seeking to open up their economies, travel and tourism is a critical sector. Globally it is about 10% of GDP and in some locations, it accounts for much more.
“The economic incentive to allow foreign tourists I believe is valid. But we fully understand that after taking severe pain in the lockdown phase, no country wants to import Covid-19.
“To emphasise, we are not suggesting that governments with quarantine measures in place should simply open their borders. We are suggesting that governments who assess the need for quarantine, should consider a layering of measures with two objectives:
“The first objective is to prevent infected people from flying. Airlines are helping this with flexible conditions for re-booking. Health declarations, and eventually Covid-19 testing for arrivals from high-risk areas, are extra layers of protection.
“The second objective is to prevent clusters from forming in the case that an infected person does travel. Contact tracing will help with this process. And, while the costs of contact tracing are significant, they are far lower than the cost of keeping the travel and tourism business in lockdown.”