Published on : Saturday, September 5, 2020
Following months of uncertainty, European airlines continue to face multiple challenges as the latest restrictions create new fears for travellers. Although the motivation for countries to reintroduce quarantine is understood, the reactive nature of these decisions and inconsistency across member states has caused a negative impact on European travel and tourism that cannot be underestimated.
To support the economic restarting of air transport, ERA is encouraging air travel to be opened up between countries and remain open, avoiding the need for quarantine when passengers travel from countries with high COVID-19 infection rates. As part of this, ERA recommends the use of regional corridors to allow for travel between regions where infection rates are low, as opposed to quarantine measures for entire countries which has a huge impact on consumers, businesses and the travel industry alike.
Equally, the association is encouraging the use of a testing process prior to air travel to reduce the risk of contamination at the airport and in flight and to allow for a greater movement of people in a safe and controlled manner. Although the use of testing does raise questions over cost, as well as logistical considerations, more support is needed from governments to ensure its implementation and ultimately, support of European air travel. Testing should however only be in place for as long as is needed during the current crisis and should be evaluated on a regular basis.
Montserrat Barriga, ERA Director General, says: “As European air travel moves towards recovery, we are deeply in need of processes that ensure safety while also supporting aviation and the travel industry as a whole. By creating regional corridors and implementing a consistent approach to testing across Europe, we can provide passengers with not only the confidence to fly, but the confidence to travel without fear of sudden and unpredictable blanket quarantines.”