IATA Calls for Testing, Prepares to Rollout Travel Pass App
Key to the aviation sector’s recovery after the Covid-19 shock is to implement a consistent travel-friendly policy across regions, said Alexandre de Juniac during IATA’s first briefing of the year, announcing at the same time a full rollout of the IATA Travel Pass app in the coming months.
“We continue to prepare for the day that governments are ready to open borders with testing or with vaccinations. The first pilot of the IATA Travel Pass app was launched in partnership with Singapore Airlines on routes to Kuala Lumpur and to Jakarta. We are still on track for a full rollout of the app during the first quarter of this year,” he said.
De Juniac described the short-term forecast for airlines as “bleak” due in large part to holiday restrictions implemented by governments in view of a virus mutation. In other words, he said, governments “have chosen policy measures that will shut down travel”.
De Juniac stressed the need for a balanced approach to the pandemic which would include realizing that a Covid-free world is not only impossible but also comes with severe consequences, including a slow or no recovery of the travel and tourism economy, lost jobs, and the negative effects of lockdowns on people’s mental health.
IATA’s outgoing chief is urging yet again for a well-reasoned, scientifically supported policy based on testing instead of quarantines in order to facilitate travel and enable the industry to begin addressing the severe side-effects of Covid-19 policies.
De Juniac will step down as IATA director general and CEO on March 31. Willie Walsh, former CEO of the International Airlines Group (IAG) steps in as IATA’s eighth director general on April 1.