The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) has labelled the latest quarantine measures imposed by the UK and Spain “arduous and damaging” to the recovery of air transport in Europe.
The Spanish Government’s announcement that it will impose a 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving from overseas starting on Friday follows the UK ‘s recent announcement to also impose a mandatory two-week quarantine for incoming air passengers. In a statement ERA said these measures will have a detrimental effect and lengthen the time it will take for the travel and tourism industry to resume operations and services to consumers.
The association’s statement also highlights that it’s vital that measures introduced by member states, stakeholders and the air transport industry are financially, operationally and logistically viable, as well as being practical in their execution. Consumer confidence will be vital in allowing airlines to restart their operations and to receive future passenger bookings. Imposing quarantine measures that are unlikely to be controlled or enforced, provide no strategic benefit, especially as the risk of virus transmission on board an aircraft is low.
ERA Director General Montserrat Barriga said: “A clear set of measures across the EU and third countries is needed urgently to allow aviation to recover. A strategic set of processes and protocols can be implemented to make that happen that would re-establish confidence in flying. Quarantine measures will enforce a stalemate situation that benefits neither the passenger nor the airline. Collaboration is needed by all involved, otherwise the pathway to reconnect and reunite Europe will remain long, lengthy and economically devastating.”
Roger Hage, General Manger (Commercial and Operations) of ERA member airline Eastern Airways added:” Given the propensity for these measures to restrict major corporate customers who shuttle staff or delivery projects, including sectors such as maritime, construction and energy this could severely impact economic recovery across many countries: which as a UK-based operator we believe is notable for the island’s economy. We would advocate for a very clear rethink as to how to distinguish between discretionary and employment specific passenger movements.”