Three of the world’s largest airline alliances have joined forces to call on international governments to pursue a harmonised approach to the resumption of global air travel.
SkyTeam, Star Alliance and oneworld want governments around the world to adopt standardised testing protocols and embrace digital health pass technology to allow borders to reopen safely amid the ongoing Covid crisis.
The coalition wants world leaders to implement the findings of a new report by the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s Aviation Recovery Taskforce, issued on Tuesday (10 November).
Together, the trio say government-imposed travel and entry restrictions are stifling a recovery of global travel, adding that testing must become part of an end-to-end solution to reduce the current reliance on blanket quarantines.
British Airways and its IAG stablemates, as well as Qantas, Delta, Air France, Lufthansa and United Airlines, are among nearly 60 carriers represented by the coalition, which carried nearly two billion passengers a year prior to the Covid crisis.
Star Alliance chief executive Jeffrey Goh said screening and testing must from part of a solution. “A robust protocol for testing will also provide further evidence to demonstrate that air travel is not a material cause for infections and will pave the way for a framework of trust to be established between countries.”
Kristin Colvile, SkyTeam chief executive, added: “Testing regimes and trials of digital health passes have identified means to restoring confidence and reopening borders, complementing the layer upon layer of passenger safety measures already implemented by airlines and airports worldwide.”
Common Pass is one such digital health pass trialled in recent months, which the coalition says could standardise accredited passenger health data and help integrate it into the passenger journey.
Oneworld chief executive Rob Gurney added: “With extensive travel restrictions creating much uncertainty for customers, testing can play a role in enabling the safe restart of travel.
“Any solution used in declaring passenger health data should be consistent, scalable and cost effective – this will provide clarity and confidence to customers, airlines and other stakeholders as international travel resumes.”