IATA pushes for Covid-19 tests before international flights

23 September 2020 (Last Updated September 23rd, 2020 10:35)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for Covid-19 testing for all international passengers before flights in a bid to expedite the recovery of the aviation sector.

IATA pushes for Covid-19 tests before international flights
IATA calls for Covid-19 tests before all international flights. Credit: Hafiz Naveed from Pixabay.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called for Covid-19 testing for all international passengers before flights in a bid to expedite the recovery of the aviation sector.

The association, which represents around 290 airlines, plans to get the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and health authorities to implement the system.

A rapid, accurate and scalable pre-flight Covid-19 test regime is intended as an alternative to the mandatory quarantine rules, which significantly dampens air travel demand.

IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said: “The key to restoring the freedom of mobility across borders is systematic Covid-19 testing of all travellers before departure.

“This will give governments the confidence to open their borders without complicated risk models that see constant changes in the rules imposed on travel. Testing all passengers will give people back their freedom to travel with confidence. And that will put millions of people back to work.”

International travelling has plummeted following the Covid-19 pandemic. Currently, it is down 92% compared to 2019 levels.

Even after some governments reopened borders, the sector’s recovery has been very limited due to quarantine measures and frequent changes in Covid-19 rules.

According to IATA, the aviation industry supports at least 65.5 million jobs. This year, the industry is expected to post a record net loss of more than $80bn.

Earlier this month, IATA proposed a four-point plan to support the struggling aviation sector in the UK. The proposals included the establishment of a testing regime.