IATA calls for borders to open and continued relief measuresChristian Fernsby ▼ | September 2, 2020
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is calling on governments to work together to urgently find ways to re-establish global connectivity by re-opening borders and to continue with relief measures to sustain airlines during the coronavirus crisis.
IATA International Air Transport Association
This was evident in a disappointing “peak (Northern Hemisphere) summer travel season” that saw minimal improvements compared to the May-June period, as four in five potential travelers stayed home, based on comparisons with the year-ago period.
- Total July 2020 traffic was 79.8% below 2019 levels
- International traffic in July 2020 was 91.9% below 2019 levels
Specifically, IATA calls for governments to grasp the seriousness of the crisis facing the airline industry and its consequences for their citizens; and IATA urges governments to focus their attention on these key issues: re-opening borders, continuing relief measures, global leadership.
Many governments, including China, Brazil, Mexico, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand have granted waivers for the winter 2020 season (October 2020-March 2021) recognizing the severe constraints on planning schedules during this period of extreme disruption.
Unfortunately, the European Commission (EC), which many governments look to for leadership on air transport policies, is under-estimating the severity of the crisis and dragging its feet:
- The EC has stated that traffic will be restored to between 75% and 85% of February 2020 levels (pre-COVID-19 in most markets) for the winter season. This is far more optimistic than industry scenarios.
- Moreover, the EC believes that granting a waiver in mid-October will give a sufficient window for airlines and airports to plan for what is already the most challenging time in aviation history. Given the extraordinary circumstances, over the last several weeks both airports and airlines have been calling for the governments to provide clarity as early as possible.
Together with independent slot coordinators they have jointly agreed conditions to allow the EC to progress swiftly.
“The European Commission’s delay in granting a full-season waiver of the 80-20 slot rule for the Northern Hemisphere winter season is bad for everyone. Airlines and airports will scramble while consumer uncertainty will only increase. As the Commission returns from its summer activities, granting a full-season waiver should be at the top of the aviation priority list,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. ■