Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia], May 11 (ANI): Healthcare measures to be adopted for future air travel should be practical and based on accepted medical standards as part of a robust risk management framework, the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) said on Monday.
However, steps like leaving the middle seat empty being contemplated will make air travel much more costly without any meaningful public benefit in terms of risk reduction, it said.
"The Covid-19 pandemic is probably the greatest challenge that the global air transport industry has ever faced," said AAPA Director General Subhas Menon.
"The industry must introduce and adapt processes to minimise risk while at the same time restoring confidence and trust in air travel. Travellers should be able to undertake journeys with full confidence that measures are being undertaken to protect their well-being."
Menon said the resumption of international air travel requires a global approach and harmonised measures across borders.
"AAPA calls on governments to work closely together and collaborate with industry in developing measures that are standardised, pragmatic, based on accepted medical standards and a robust risk management framework, in our common objective of serving the travelling public and reviving the wider economy," he said in a statement.
Menon said the Covid-19 pandemic has seriously affected global economic activity including trade, tourism and employment levels. The grounding of flights and drastic reduction in air links have wider detrimental effects on society and the economy.
Aviation supports 65.5 million jobs around the world with one job in the industry supporting 24 other jobs in the wider economy. But these livelihoods are now jeopardised due to the drastic plunge in travel demand.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation sees tourism declining as much as 80 per cent this year. The progressive resumption of air travel will be key to helping jumpstart economic activity, said Menon.
"Wherever possible, processes such as travellers' health declarations should be automated and made available on mobile devices for the convenience of the travelling public," he said. (ANI)