The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that the aviation economy will not recover as governments continue to tighten borders in a knee-jerk response to COVID-19 pandemic.
The organization stressed that the industry will not recover and more jobs losses will continue to be recorded, even as travel demand in the industry increased during the festive season, IATA noted that aviation is still in a perilous situation.
IATA posits that there have been limited uptake because either quarantine measures make travel impractical or the frequent changes in COVID-19 measures make planning impossible.
According to IATA, “Instead of a boost from the year end holiday period, we got even more restrictions. Governments tightened borders in a knee-jerk response to a virus mutation. Canada, UK, Germany, Japan and others added testing to their COVID-19 measures without removing quarantine requirements”
IATA hinted that the travel policy measures by governments will shut down travel industry.
The Association stressed that this approach indicates that governments are not interested in managing a balanced approach to curb the risks of COVID-19.
“Several governments appear to be aiming for a zero COVID world. This is an impossible task that comes with severe consequences the full extent of which it would be impossible to calculate. We are working tirelessly with governments to keep flying safe and reduce the risk of COVID-19 importation via travel with the implementation of the ICAO CART recommendations proposals to replace quarantine with COVID-19 testing”, the body said.
IATA argued that a more balanced public policy approach is needed one that is based on testing as a replacement for quarantines so that the industry can begin addressing the severe side effects of COVID-19 policies.
Meanwhile, speaking to MMS Plus on how the aviation economy can recover from it losses, the Secretary General of the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative and Chief Executive Officer, Centurion Securities, Group Captain John Ojikutu (Rtd), posited that as a measure of economy recovery the industry should start planning to get cargo as passengers traffic continues to suffer setbacks.
Ojikutu noted that countries are beginning to consider another lockdown and passengers continued to live in the uncertainty, saying that: “this is a difficult time for the industry. There are different things to consider; will there be another lockdown, how do passengers traffic increase these are factors that will determine if the economy of the industry can recover”
“Before the industry can record the kind of market boost during the pre-covid period, it will take about two to three years. With the continued increase in Covid-19 cases, I don’t see any improvement in the industry economy because globally the economy is already hit with setbacks as countries are beginning to close their airspace”.