The group representing airlines worldwide on Tuesday endorsed passenger coronavirus testing at airports as a method for restoring international air travel.
International Air Transport Association CEO Alexandre de Juniac told reporters that testing “appears to be ready for being used in travel, giving confidence both to travelers and to governments.”
He said the group believes “the speed, accuracy and scalability of testing is rapidly improving,” and that testing will serve to “rebuild confidence, reopen borders, restart aviation, recharge demand, and support jobs.” Among the challenges, de Juniac acknowledged, is having enough testing technology to deploy to each airport and to process a large number of passengers with minimal waiting.
The group sees testing as one part of a three-point plan to expand international travel, including adopting a set of guidelines and international coordination so that entrance requirements are the same in every country.
It believes those protections would allow countries can drop restrictions, such as quarantine periods, which the group said is a key barrier to the industry’s success.
“The main issue we face is that most countries borders are closed to international travel,” said IATA economist Brian Pearce.