Aviation authorities call on Middle East governments to deploy standardised guidelines

ICAO’s global measures work to restart aviation as safely as possible

COVID-19 has already severely impacted the region's air travel industry
COVID-19 has already severely impacted the region's air travel industry

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific have joined the International Civil Aviation Organization Middle East (ICAO MID) in urging the governments in the Middle East region to rapidly implement ICAO’s global guidelines.

The ICAO Guidance proposes a phased approach to restarting the industry while outlining risk-based measures in line with public health advice. Measures include physical distancing in airports, the use of personal protection equipment, routine disinfection of all areas with potential for human contact, passenger health declaration forms, contact tracing, health screening and COVID-19 testing.

The organisations are also urging states to identify opportunities where travel restrictions could be lifted, through bilateral or multilateral arrangements.

Did you like this story?
Click here for more

“We are counting on governments in the Middle East to implement the ICAO Take-off Guidance quickly and in a harmonised and mutually recognised way, because the world wants to travel again and needs airlines to play a key role in the economic recovery. The guidance recognizes that social distancing is not possible on an aircraft, therefore supports face coverings as part of a layered risk mitigation approach. And recommends contact tracing which should give governments the confidence to open borders without quarantine measures. Local deviations and exceptions will damage public confidence and make it harder to operate effectively slowing down the industry restart. This would be harmful to public health and the economic recovery,” said IATA regional VP for MEA Muhammad Albakri. 

IATA explained in a statement: "COVID-19 has torn through the aviation industry in the Middle East. Demand in terms of passenger volumes is forecast to fall 56% in 2020 year-on-year for airlines and 47% for airports. Airlines in the region are expected to post a net loss of US$4.8 billion this year as passenger revenues decline by US$24 billion compared to the previous year. Airports in the region estimated total revenue loss of US$7 billion, representing a 52% year-on-year decline in 2020. Job losses in aviation and related industries in the region could reach 1.2 million and GDP supported by aviation could fall by US$66 billion. Before the COVID-19 crisis aviation supported 2.4 million jobs in the region and generated US$130 billion in GDP."

For all the latest hospitality news from UAE, Gulf countries and around the world, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page.

Most Popular

Newsletter

Reports

Human Capital Report 2017

Human Capital Report 2017

The second annual Hotelier Middle East Human Capital Report is designed to explore the issues, challenges and opportunities facing hospitality professionals responsible for the hotel industry’s most important asset – its people. The report combines the results of Hotelier Middle East's HR Leaders Survey with exclusive interviews with the region's senior human resources directors.

Hotelier Middle East Housekeeping Report 2016

Hotelier Middle East Housekeeping Report 2016

The Hotelier Middle East Housekeeping Report 2016 provides essential business insight into this critical hotel function, revealing a gradual move towards the use of automated management and a commitment to sustainability, concerns over recruitment, retention and staff outsourcing, and the potential to deliver much more, if only the industry's "image problem" can be reversed.

From the edition

From the magazine