IATA travel app 'key' for flying industry recovery, says trade chief
Tim Hanlon


Recovery for the air travel industry is not expected to start until mid-2021, says airline trade body chief Alexandre de Juniac, who believes a virus travel app will be "key" to opening borders. 

De Juniac, the director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has said new COVID-19 variants causing border controls and quarantines have affected air travel badly.

The IATA is developing a phone app, says De Juniac, to enable safe travel for when governments remove restrictions. It will demonstrate to authorities that travelers have met requirements to fly.



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"The appetite to fly is there but undoubtedly travel restrictions such as border closures or quarantine are a major deterrent to travel," he said.

IATA's smartphone app will allow passengers to enter a medical certification of vaccination or testing. The data is then transfered to the relevant airline or destination of travel.

De Juniac says IATA now expects the recovery to start this summer: "With the surge of the variants many states have closed their borders again or they have issued some travel restrictions again in January, so the traffic has dropped," he said.

"So we have postponed our estimate and we now forecast the beginning of recovery by mid-2021 and in the meantime we have to survive, we will burn cash and we will still need government support."

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