The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines has said
that the relaxation of mobility restrictions needs careful
In the case of international flights, governments
will have to work together to develop common standards and
re-establish mutual trust.
Mr. Subhas Menon, AAPA
Director General, said, "Work must begin on a multilateral basis
to develop the necessary protocols to safeguard public health
whilst restoring international connectivity including air
services. The key to success is close
collaboration with the many stakeholders which make up the global
air transportation system, including aeronautical authorities,
airlines, airports, and other service providers as in-depth
knowledge and close integration with established business systems
The air transport industry is actively engaging
with governments and international regulatory authorities,
including public health and medical experts, to discuss the
measures needed to restore public confidence in the safety of air
travel, and develop comprehensive plans for the safe and orderly
resumption of air services.
The recovery will be led by domestic travel,
followed by regional and intercontinental services as governments
progressively remove restrictions. However, whilst new national
health security protocols may be sufficient to restart domestic
travel, a separate framework will be needed for international air
travel. Cross-border flights can only resume in earnest when
governments are ready to lift blanket travel bans and relax other
restrictions on international travel.
Part of the response will be to reassure
travellers that appropriate measures have been put in place to
safeguard their journey and more broadly facilitate cross-border
travel. There is a developing consensus on the need to develop a
set of measures that are internationally coordinated, coherent and
consistently applied across the world.
Various possible measures are currently being
discussed, including modifications to inflight procedures where
necessary. We need to follow an evidence-based approach
incorporating appropriate guidance from medical and public health
Departure screening measures, in whatever form,
are just one part of the precautions to be taken. Other aspects of
the journey such as security checkpoints, immigration and other
facilities at airports may need to be revised in line with updated
recommendations on social distancing and hygiene standards.
These measures are expected to remain in place for
a considerable period but would need to be kept under regular
review and updated in accordance with expert guidance from public
health and medical experts.
"The Asia Pacific aviation community is strongly
committed to continuing to work closely with governments, public
health authorities, and other international bodies charting a
course for a timely and measured restoration of air services,"
said Mr. Menon.