Compulsory quarantine for flyers will hit airline operations: IATA chief

New Delhi | Updated on May 26, 2020

IATA Director-General Alexandre de Juniac   -  REUTERS

Global body plans to write to States for rethink on move

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) feels that mandatory quarantine for air travellers flying between States is an obstacle for the resumption of airline operations.

“We think we should avoid (putting in place quarantine measures).

“We will advocate to States or governments to not insist on quarantine if they want air travel to restart,” Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, said during a conference call with the global media.

He added that IATA did not support general quarantine.

Flights resume

Domestic flying in India restarted on Monday after a gap of two months with several States including Maharashtra, Kerala and Uttarakhand putting in place quarantine measures for air travellers arriving there.

Kerala has mandated that all passengers should be put in quarantine for 14 days.

Similarly, Uttarakhand stipulates that all passengers be kept in institutional quarantine specified by the health authorities/state government.

Addressing the global media, Brian Pearce, IATA’s Chief Economist, said that governments globally had made about $123 billion available to the airline industry but the support was largely to the balance sheets and not to the profit and loss account.

Adding to debt

Pearce pointed out that about $67 billion of this $123-billion package is in the form of debt which creates new liabilities for the carriers.

The $67 billion includes government loans ($50 billion), deferred taxes ($5 billion) and loan guarantees ($12 billion).

He pointed out that this assistance was unevenly spread with developing countries receiving a very little share of this money.

The IATA CEO said a phased resumption of aviation with domestic flights being started first followed by continental flights and then inter-continental flights was the best way forward.

Published on May 26, 2020

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