in Air Transport

COVID-19 testing key to aviation’s survival in Southern Africa

Posted 8 October 2020 · Add Comment

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) outlined the key priorities to ensure the long-term sustainability of aviation in Southern Africa as the industry continues to suffer from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions.

Sebastian Mikosz, IATA’s senior vice president, urges governments and health authorities in the region to cooperate to replace quarantine restrictions.  Image:  IATA

 

1.  Ensuring urgent government relief is provided to the air transport industry and that pledged funds from international and pan-African organizations reach those in need

 

2.  Accelerating the restart of aviation by replacing quarantines with testing

 

 

Relief Measures

 

Airline revenues from Southern African countries are forecast to decline by 60% in 2020 and the number of passengers to fall by 58%. Four airlines in the region have entered administration since the crisis began. Without urgent government relief, more carriers and their employees are at risk, as is the wider African air transport industry, which supports 7.7 million jobs on the continent.

 

“Air transport and the industries it supports provide millions of jobs and millions of US dollars in economic activity in Southern Africa. It is crucial that this sector gets the help it needs to survive and be able to sustain a recovery. To date, South Africa, is the only country in Southern Africa that has committed to providing direct financial support to aviation,” said Sebastian Mikosz, IATA’s Senior Vice President, Member and External Relations.

 

Addressing the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) 2020 virtual  annual general meeting, Mikosz noted that over US$30 billion in financial support for air transport and tourism has been pledged by international finance bodies and other institutions, including the African Development Bank, African Export Import Bank, African Union and the International Monetary Fund. However, far too little of it has reached its intended recipients owing to overly complex application and creditworthiness processes, and conditions to secure finance.

 

“We recognise that these organisations have a responsibility to ensure this aid is well spent. Nevertheless, financial bottlenecks need to be urgently unblocked so that the money can flow quickly and reach intended participants to prevent more airline closures and job losses,” said Mikosz.

 

Replacing Quarantine with Testing to Restart Aviation in Southern Africa

 

Mikosz also urged governments and health authorities in the region to cooperate to replace quarantine restrictions—which are stifling demand for travel and inflicting further damage on air transport and tourism businesses—with COVID-19 testing to restart air travel safely.

 

While many of the countries in Southern Africa are re-opening their borders to regional and international air travel, in Rwanda, Seychelles and Namibia passengers are still subject to a mandatory quarantine. These measures effectively stop people from travelling. IATA is calling for the systematic testing of passengers before departure without the need for quarantine on arrival. This will enable governments to safely open borders while balancing social and economic considerations and will better support recovery efforts.

 

“If we cannot restart the air transport system in a coordinated, efficient and consistent fashion, we will not be able to restore the much-desired confidence that would see the return of demand across the entire travel and tourism value chain. This will result in many more livelihoods being lost and further economic decline along with hardship and poverty,” said Mikosz.

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

TIMES Aerospace TV supports SIAA2020

Watch the news round up on TATV with Alan Peaford and Marcelle Nethersole in support of Day 2 of the Safety in African Aviation conference.

Demand for FAI Air Ambulance’s corona transport

FAIs air ambulance division has been operating at maximum capacity to meet the high number of requests for repatriation and medevac flights, including difficult destinations such as South Sudan.

Final day of SIAA2020 virtual conference

Watch the news round-up on TATV with Alan Peaford and Marcelle Nethersole in support of Day 4 of the Safety in African Aviation conference 2020.

EgyptAir signs MoU with Ghana to establish a new airline in Africa

The Egyptian government has signed an MoU with Ghana to become a strategic partner in establishing a new airline affiliated with the Ghanaian government.

SIAA2020 supported by TIMES Aerospace TV

Watch the news round-up on TATV with Alan Peaford and Marcelle Nethersole in support of Day 3 of the Safety in African Aviation conference 2020.

Airlink adds three new destinations in Mozambique

Airlink, the privately-owned regional airline, will enhance its South Africa and Mozambique network with additional scheduled services to Pemba, Vilanculos and Beira in Mozambique.

CONNECT SK0110090421
See us at
Aviation MENA 2021CONNECT BT0610090421Aviation Africa 2021