in Air Transport

IATA urges Kenyan Government to reduce PCR test fees to boost travel

Posted 24 September 2021 · Add Comment

IATA has urged the Kenyan government to use all mechanisms at its disposal to encourage air travel, including reductions in COVID-19 test charges.

 

“Kenya’s air transport recovery is stalling and requires ongoing support. Among the interventions, we are urging Kenya’s government to reduce the cost of PCR tests for travellers, which, at roughly US$80 each, is significantly higher than the average in Africa,” said Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA’s regional vice president for Africa and Middle East.

 

“The high cost of tests has become a major deterrent and a drag on the recovery of Kenya’s air transport and tourism sectors. An alternative solution would be to permit the use of more cost-effective antigen tests,” he added.

 

Airline passenger traffic to, from and within Kenya fell by 52% in June 2021 vs June 2019. The picture was similar for the first half of 2021, with passenger volumes having declined by 54.2% as compared to the first half of 2019. The next two years should see stronger recovery as Kenya’s vaccination rate improves and more countries reopen their borders to the country.

 

Key priorities to support and sustain the recovery of Kenya’s air transport and tourism sectors include:

 

    Reducing COVID-19 test fees: Expensive charges and inconsistent requirements for PCR tests undermine confidence in air travel. Affordable tests will prompt more people to travel by air again. According to IATA’s latest passenger survey, 86% of respondents are willing to get tested. But 70% also believe that the cost of testing is a significant barrier to travel, while 78% believe governments should bear the cost of mandatory testing.

    Digitalization of health certificates: As passenger numbers increase in the recovery, digitally managing travel health credentials will be essential to avoid queuing and crowding airports. The IATA Travel Pass and the African Union’s Trusted Travel Pass are both tools that can help governments efficiently and conveniently verify traveler health credentials.

    Increasing intra-Africa connectivity: Pre-pandemic, African Union’s Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) was intended to unlock travel within the continent. Post-pandemic it will provide an even more important economic boost. Full implementation of SAATM across the continent would generate significant economic benefits for Kenya, namely creating 39,000 new jobs and adding US$201 million to the country’s GDP.

 

Equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines

 

With low vaccination rates across Africa, the continent and its people are vulnerable and the economic recovery from COVID-19 is at risk. Moreover, with more countries lifting travel restrictions for those vaccinated, the freedom of movement will be limited until vaccines are universally available. With 1.6% of Kenya’s population fully vaccinated, the challenge is particularly acute.

 

“Nations, governments, politicians, and business must cooperate through COVAX so that everyone gets access to the vaccines they require, no matter where they are,” said Alawadhi.

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Gulfstream adds new features to the G280

Gulfstream Aerospace has added several new features and options to the popular super-midsize Gulfstream G280 as investment in the aircraft and interest in the segment continue.

Accelerating the transition of long-haul aviation towards net zero

Rolls-Royce, Airbus and Shell are investing in technology required to achieve the transition of long-haul aviation towards net zero.

Ethiopian Airlines signs interline agreement with Airlink

Ethiopian Airlines has signed an interline agreement with South Africa’s Airlink.

Boeing releases Q3 deliveries

The Boeing Company has announced programme deliveries across its commercial and defence operations for the third quarter of 2021.

Air Cargo needs cooperation, safety, sustainability and modernisation

IATA has urged the air cargo industry to continue working together at the same pace, with the same levels of cooperation as during the COVID-19 pandemic to overcome future challenges and build industry resilience.

Survey reveals impact of pandemic on global aviation leaders

More than 60% of the world’s aviation leaders believe the pandemic will discourage people from joining the aviation sector, according to the first worldwide survey of leaders in aviation since the Covid-19 crisis.

WDS SK2601090322
See us at
DAS BT2909181121DIACC BT0809131121Aviation Africa 2022BTWDS BT1202090322