Explaining this, Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO said that while Governments have cooperated to set the guidelines for a safe re-start of aviation, they have not cooperated to actually make a re-start happen.
Specifically, calling for governments to grasp the seriousness of the crisis facing the airline industry and its consequences for their citizens; De Juniac urged governments to focus their attention on these key issues:
- Re-opening borders
- Continuing relief measures
- Global leadership
“That’s why 90% of international flying has stopped. The demand is there. When borders open without quarantine, people fly. But there is too much uncertainty in how governments are managing the situation for passengers to re-build the confidence to travel,” he said.
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 COVID-19 crisis, De Juniac outlined that what is killing aviation is the fact that governments are not managing the risks of opening borders, but instead, keeping global mobility effectively in lockdown. And if this continues, the damage to global connectivity could become irreparable which will generate its own severe consequences for economies and public health.
“The global protocols for safely re-starting aviation are agreed and no industry is as experienced in successfully implementing global safety programs as aviation. But we need governments to take on the leadership to manage risks and adopt a mindset of not being defeated by this virus. Then, with testing, technology, science and determination we can re-open borders and get the world moving again,” said de Juniac.
The IATA chief has a broad aviation sector experience, including 14 years at French aerospace, space, defense, security and transportation company Thales, and its predecessor companies Thompson-CSF and Thompson SA (1995-2009). In his last position at Thales, de Juniac was responsible for the company’s operations and sales in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.