Quarantines may affect air travel recovery even after vaccine availability: IATA survey

By Sayujya S, Desk Reporter
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According to a survey by the biggest airline body International Air Transport Association (IATA), travelers are keen to board flights once again after they have been vaccinated, but are frustrated with current travel restrictions including quarantines.

Nearly 81 percent of respondents believe they will be more likely to travel once they take the vaccination, but there are obstacles to this growing travel confidence. 84 percent said they will not fly if there is a chance of quarantine at the destination country.

“People have not lost their taste for the freedom to fly. We must be ready when borders reopen,” Alexandre de Juniac, director-general of IATA, said.

Vaccine campaign

An extensive vaccine campaign is expected to help air travel recover, boosting travelers’ confidence and providing much-needed relief to the global aviation industry that has been battered by the pandemic.

IATA’s latest survey found that 57 percent expect to be travelling within two months of the pandemic being contained, an improvement from 49 percent in the September 2020 survey.

Approximately 72 percent want to travel to see family and friends as soon as possible, up from 63 percent in September 2020.

A total of 4,700 interviews were conducted online in 11 markets between February 15 and 23 in countries including the UAE, the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, India, Australia, Chile, Japan and Singapore. The survey polled those who had taken a plane trip in the past 11 months.

Technology to manage travel

The survey indicated that travelers are willing to use a secure mobile phone app to manage their travel health credentials.

Four out of five people polled would like to use this technology as soon as it becomes available, IATA said. They also expect that travel health credentials and the vaccine or test certificates must comply with global standards.

Data security was a top concern for travelers. Some 78 percent said they will not use an app if they are not in full control of their data, while 60 percent will not use a travel credential app if data is stored centrally.

Travel Pass

The industry body believes that its IATA Travel Pass will be a solution to overcome the fears of users. The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app that lets passengers easily and securely manage their travel, following the government requirements for COVID-19 tests or vaccinations.

“While we are making good progress with numerous trials, we are still awaiting the global standards for digital testing and vaccine certificates,” Mr de Juniac said. “Only with global standards and governments accepting them can we maximize efficiency and deliver an optimum travel experience.”

Related: COVID-19 insurance finds a place on pandemic travel checklist