In an interview with Al-Arabiya, the regional vice president for Africa and the Middle East at IATA, Muhammad Al-Bakri, said that some countries have begun to discuss exempting the traveler from examining the Corona virus and from quarantine if he gets the vaccine.
And it was considered that the quality and origin of the vaccine should not affect decisions to exempt from testing.
In addition, he pointed out that the continuation of countries to act unilaterally regarding travel will paralyze the sector as a whole, pointing out the preference for taking the option of medical examination instead of quarantine.
Al-Bakri does not deny that 2020 was the year of the “catastrophe” for the air transport sector and the travel sector, saying 2020 is the worst year ever in the history of global aviation, indicating that if countries continue to take the same precautionary measures such as closing borders, suspending flights and closing airspace, “then the percentage will decrease.” Expected recovery of the sector in 2021 from 50.4% to 13%.
Al-Bakri appealed to countries to build a plan to restart the sector and the contribution of this sector to building the economies of countries affected by the Corona pandemic, expressing his hope that the electronic travel document will succeed in speeding up the recovery of the aviation sector.
Due to the spread of the Corona pandemic, total international demand decreased by about 76% from 2019, while domestic aviation demand decreased by 49%. Countries that faced the worst decline in domestic air travel are Australia, followed by America and India, where annual demand declined by more than 50%.
While capacity, usually measured by the number of available seats, decreased by 68%, as only 1.8 billion people traveled in 2020, compared to 4.5 billion in 2019. The load factor, which represents the ratio of aircraft load to weight, has decreased to 63%.
These declines translate into a massive financial loss to the aviation industry of about $ 370 billion, with an additional $ 115 billion losing airports and another $ 13 billion losing air navigation service providers, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization.
On the other hand, Asia-Pacific airlines suffered the largest traffic drop of any region, by 80% in 2020 compared to 2019.
According to IATA forecasts, the demand for aviation will improve by about 50% in 2021, which will make the industry reach about half of 2019 levels. According to the report, actual demand may be less than expected if restrictions continue due to new variants of the Coronavirus. .