The U.S. aviation industry is calling on the Government to establish COVID-19 testing protocols before international flights as a way to safely reopen travel routes that have been cut amid the pandemic.
Industry stakeholders want the U.S. to reach an agreement on pre-flight COVID-19 testing procedures with Europe, Canada, or the Pacific first as part of a “limited testing pilot project”.
Stakeholders say this would allow people to travel between two countries without the need to quarantine, and allow Government officials to evaluate the efficacy of the program.
International travel among U.S. carriers is currently down 82% compared to last year as many countries’ borders remain closed to U.S. citizens.
Global Airlines on Tuesday called on Governments to replace restrictive quarantine measures with COVID-19 tests prior to all international flights.
The push for testing comes as the industry’s hopes for recovery were dealt a blow last week when the United Kingdom reintroduced quarantines on travelers from France and the Netherlands.
International Air Transport Association Director General Alexandre de Juniac, said a global agreement is needed to ensure test results on departure are accepted on arrival as this will also boost passenger confidence that everybody on the aircraft has been tested.
Airlines are forecasting a 55% decline in 2020 air traffic, according to IATA, which reported 85% of surveyed travellers expressed concerns about quarantine.