Airlines warn that irregular global COVID-19 rules can delay recovery

Boston — Tuesday’s global airlines conclude their first meeting since the blockade of COVID-19 gave in to the industry.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which groups 290 airlines, said the turmoil over travel restrictions has hampered the fragile recovery of the industry after the blockade caused air travel to fall into the worst recession of all time.

“People want to fly. We’ve seen strong evidence of that,” said Willie Walsh. “They can’t fly because of restrictions that prevent them from traveling abroad.”

IATA expects overseas travel to double next year, reaching 44% of pre-crisis 2019 levels, compared to the depressed levels seen during the pandemic. In contrast, domestic travel is tilted to reach 93 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

Industry groups, including dozens of state-owned airlines, have blamed the wide variety of immigration and testing requirements gaps in the top 50 air travel markets.

Even some of the airline and leasing company leaders trying to attend the industry’s annual rally in Boston couldn’t travel or had to spend extra time for quarantine.

Airlines have called for the removal of restrictions on vaccinated travelers and the abolition of general health protocols at the border, but global coordination in aviation tends to proceed at a deliberate pace.

“Frankly, the government didn’t make it easier for airlines and travelers to understand flight rules,” said JetBlue President Joanna Gerati, who hosted the rally at a hotel shared with domestic tourists. Told.

Still, the head of Dubai’s emirate, one of the most bullish executives on the outlook for recovery after the end of regulation, said bookings in reopened markets such as the United Kingdom and the United States “exponentially increased.” rice field.

“It reflects the bow wave of demand we see everywhere,” said its president Tim Clark. “The demand for air travel will recover in itself … sooner or later.”

Atlantic test

The airline was backed by plans by the Biden administration to reopen the United States in November, bringing travelers from 33 countries, including Europe, on important voyages across the Atlantic.

However, the airline left the Boston rally when it arrived and the balance sheet was terribly tense. Clark said that most are risk averse and focus on collecting cash for a couple of years.

While resolving airport and other supplier dissatisfaction with not doing enough to share the pain caused by the crisis, IATA warns that serious challenges remain for airlines. bottom.

The White House hasn’t set a date to lift the European travel ban, but JetBlue expects it to happen before next month’s US Thanksgiving holiday.

“A delayed resumption will have an impact on the industry as a whole,” said Robin Hayes, CEO Robin Hayes, who will achieve net zero emissions in 2050 after chairing the meeting on October 3-5. He said he had agreed to the goal.

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said he had more reservations for transatlantic flights last week than he did during the same period in 2019.

Aircap, the world’s largest leasing company, said that if the world’s most important long-haul market reopens successfully, other markets will follow suit.

“Airlines … don’t have the elasticity they had,” CEO Aengus Kelly told an audience of airline leaders. “They can’t afford this to go wrong.”

By Rajesh Kumar Singh and Tim Hepher