The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged governments to exploit the ICAO High-Level Conference on Covid-19 (HLCC) promises to make genuine progress towards restoring global air connectivity.
A total of 14 initiatives were announced at the event, with states participating declaring their commitment to them. If implemented, these steps would allow airlines to meet customer demand worldwide for the rebirth of commercial aviation.
Two pledges necessitate the most immediate action from governments.
The first commits states to promote “a harmonised and inclusive approach to facilitate safe international air travel,” while the second refers to the implementation of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) principles on harmonising risk assessment.
“Government-imposed restrictions on foreign travel continue to obstruct the resurgence of international travel.”
Despite the recovery, it is still 70 per cent below pre-crisis levels.
The ICAO HLCC commitments demonstrate that governments are aware of the steps that must be taken to re-start global connections.
“The problem now is one of execution,” said Willie Walsh, director-general of the International Air Transport Association.
“Some governments have already begun this process.”
This will be a significant step forward with the opening of the US market to vaccinated travellers.
However, we cannot allow the outcome of this discussion to be reduced to a collection of words on a piece of paper.
“The airline sector, which supports 88 million jobs and accounts for 3.5 per cent of global GDP, as well as billions of passengers, are expecting on governments to deliver on their commitment to the risk-managed resumption of international travel,” Walsh continued.