States must deliver on commitments to restore global air connectivity – IATA

Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, Nigeria

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged governments globally to use the commitments reached at the ICAO High-Level Conference on COVID-19 (HLCC) to make real progress towards restoring global air connectivity.

IATA stated that states that attended the ICAO HLCC declared their commitment to 14 measures which, if acted upon, would enable airlines to meet the demands of consumers worldwide for a revival of air travel. In particular, two commitments need the most urgent action by governments.

The state promised to take effective measures to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, to promote, to the greatest extent possible, a harmonized and inclusive approach to facilitate safe international air travel.

Speaking, Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General said “Government-imposed restrictions continue to stop a revival of international travel. It remains 70% down on pre-crisis levels. The ICAO HLCC commitments show that governments understand what is needed to re-start global connectivity. The task now is implementation. Some governments have already started. The imminent opening of the US market to vaccinated travelers will be a big step forward. But we cannot let the output of this meeting remain as words on paper. The airline industry, 88 million livelihoods, 3.5% of global GDP and billions of travelers are counting on governments to deliver on the risk-managed reopening of international travel to which they have committed.”  

Earlier this month, ICAO published recommendations that will assist the realization of the HLCC declaration. Known as CART 3 (the Council Aviation Recovery Task Force), the outputs build on previous recommendations from CART as well as the Take-off guidance and Cross-border Manuals.

Key new or updated recommendations to ICAO member states encompass: Implementation and recognition of testing, recovery and vaccinations certificates (including digital formats), a harmonized multi-layer risk management approach among states to facilitate international travel,  entry of fully vaccinated and recovered passengers including consideration of alleviating or exempting such individuals from testing and/or quarantine measures and  access for aircrew to vaccination as quickly as possible as recommended by the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) 

“CART 3 is a roadmap toward a risk-based, data-driven approach to managing COVID-19. Its recommendations are the building blocks for states to achieve the ambition of the HLCC declaration. After a year-and-a-half of experience with COVID-19, we have the knowledge, data and experience to safely facilitate international travel without border restrictions. All the evidence and recommendations point towards restoring the freedom to travel for those vaccinated. And it is also clear that we have the capability to manage those without access to vaccination using testing,” said Walsh. 

The industry is advanced in its preparation to efficiently manage travel health credentials with the IATA Travel Pass. It is a solution that responds to the HLCC’s recognition that a system will be needed to digitally manage pandemic-related testing, vaccination and recovery certification that protects the privacy and personal data.

“Airlines cannot afford a restart that is compromised by paper-based processes for checking travel health credentials. Testing is complete and several airlines are already starting implementation of IATA Travel Pass across their networks. It’s also a ready-made solution for governments to be prepared to efficiently manage their documentation processes as demand ramps up,” said Walsh.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*