Airlines plead for Covid tests at airports for all passengers globally to save the industry from widespread collapses
Airlines have pleaded for Covid-19 tests to be rolled out at airports so that the industry can begin to recover.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said pre-departure tests for all passengers would be the only way to replace the uncertain and fast-changing quarantine systems that have put people off travelling this summer.
And Tui, the world’s biggest holiday group, also piled pressure on governments to introduce testing as it said summer bookings fell 83 per cent.
The International Air Transport Association said pre-departure tests for all passengers would be the only way to replace the uncertain and fast-changing quarantine systems
The company called for a ‘regional risk assessment policy being applied by each government rather than a blanket travel policy’.
Tui has cut its winter schedule by a further 20 per cent to around 40 per cent of last year’s capacity because of the ‘continuous changes in travel advice’.
Industry leaders, airlines and airports have warned the global economy will nosedive until quarantines can be scrapped and passengers can move smoothly through borders.
Experts say quarantine rules for travellers to Britain are costing the tourism industry alone £650million a week.
IATA head Alexandre de Juniac demanded rapid and affordable tests that can be administered by a non-medical professional.
De Juniac said: ‘We don’t see any solution that would be less challenging or more effective.’
It is thought tests that cost a few pounds each could be available within weeks.
Failure to set up a testing regime could also cost more jobs in an industry battered by the Covid crisis. Tui yesterday said it would axe 8,000 jobs as it scrambles to cut costs.
And Airbus boss Guillaume Faury warned the plane maker’s ‘life as a business is at risk’ because of coronavirus.
It has announced it would lay off more than 10 per cent of its global workforce, some 15,000 employees. About 1,700 jobs in the UK will go out of 13,500.
Although it wanted to avoid compulsory redundancies, Faury has said these might now be necessary, particularly in France and Germany.
Faury told a French radio station: ‘The crisis is existential. Our life as a business is potentially at risk if we don’t take the right measures.
And Willie Walsh, the former boss of British Airways-owner IAG, said the airline industry is never going to get back to the way it was before Covid.
He said that in around five years’ time it would be a smaller sector, with fewer airlines, but more efficient.
Walsh said: ‘It’s never going to go back to the way it was.’