European airlines on Tuesday demanded better coordination between states to end the “chaotic” border restrictions and “confusion” in procedures, after two months of still very little traffic due to the coronavirus, AFP reported.
The association Airlines for Europe (A4E), which brings together the main European airlines, asked, during a press conference, for “quick and reliable tests” of the covid-19 at the departure of flights to avoid a quarantine on arrival, “which should be a measure of last resort”.
A4E questioned the “chaotic border restrictions” and the “confusion about quarantine measures, different forms of passenger transport and test requirements” in different countries.
“A standardized test program is urgently needed if we are to regain the confidence of passengers,” said Thomas Reynaert, the organization’s director.
Traffic in Europe improved slightly in July but stagnated in August, with only 30% of passengers compared to the same period last year, according to the organization.
Coordination between states should be “a political priority” for the European Union, said Benjamin Smith, director general of Air France-KLM and president of A4E.
He added that the measures against covid-19 adopted “without any coordination in the last six months have had a devastating impact on freedom of movement.
“Uncertainty as to the procedures applied on arrival by the authorities” is one of the brakes on recovery, said Patrick Ky, executive director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
“We need a common European approach,” he added.
EASA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published health safety guidelines in May.
They recommend, among other things, physical distancing measures “where possible” and the use of a medical mask when traveling by air.
Now “it has been shown that people should not be afraid to fly, the likelihood of contracting the disease is very low,” Ky said at the press conference.
According to an EASA study in the last week of August, of the three million passengers in Europe, only “180 were unable to travel or were disembarked due to symptoms” of the coronavirus, or six out of every 100,000, he explained.