To revive quickly, the airline defends more massive tests than a vaccine passport

The use of tests is, for the moment, more effective than the track of making vaccination compulsory for travel, estimates IATA.

When will planes resume their incessant ball in the air? If we are to believe the airline industry, the return to normalcy is not immediately. During a conferenceon Tuesday, the head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Alexandre de Juniac, reported the “frustration“From his domain, explaining that the situation remained”perilousFor the economic survival of its members.

The activity is again “aggravatedAt the end of the year, he declared, with the multiplication of restrictions and confinements to deal with the resurgence of the epidemic as well as the new variants detected across the globe. “This approach tells us that these governments are not inclined to manage a balanced approach to the risks of COVID-19“, But they want a”world without Covid», Regretted the former CEO of Air France-KLM. In other words, states prefer zero risk to limited risk, involving reopening borders, to the detriment of the financial health of industries such as aviation or tourism, and the well-being of confined individuals.

In November, total passenger demand “decreased by 70.3% compared to November 2019“, IATA said a few days ago in a press release. Very impacted, “international passenger demand in November was 88.3% lower than November 2019“, A level even worse than that recorded – 87.6% – in October.

And, to stem this trend, IATA believes that “more balanced public policy approach is needed – a test-based approach instead of quarantines“. Testing massively to gain access to planes could allow activity to resume in good conditions, judges the association. “Travelers will not be an important factor in community transmission if the tests are used effectively. But most governments have a tunnel vision of quarantine and are not at all focused on finding ways to safely reopen borders.», Criticized the boss of the organization.

IATA, which supports vaccination over the long term, does not support the idea of ​​making it compulsory to be able to fly. It is impossible to “depend entirely»A slow vaccination to put in place, discriminating for those who cannot be vaccinated and infringing on the rights of passengers. This solution is also uncertain, data on the effects of vaccines are still incomplete. In addition, each State sets up its own vaccination strategy, prioritizing a certain population: if the vaccine is encouraging for the future, it is therefore not possible, for the moment, to rely solely on this strategy, for IATA.

The Qantas company is, to date, the only one to assume that the vaccine should be made compulsory in the future: “we will need a vaccine so that air transport can truly resume“, Said the head of the Australian company, Alan Joyce, adding that the vaccine would be”a necessity»For international passengers. In France, the government has been critical of this position. “We have a vaccination campaign starting all over the world», Commented recently the Minister for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari. The objective is therefore rather to accelerate this campaign than to “resort to segmentation of the population”Via the ban on traveling without being vaccinated.

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