Iata has urged governments around the world not to make inbound quarantine measures part of any post-coronavirus pandemic travel restrictions.
The association says layering various non-quarantine measures, such as expanding and speeding up testing and introducing immunity passports, will give passengers confidence to travel safely and "without undue hassle".
An Iata survey of recent air passengers found 86% were somewhat or very concerned about being quarantined while travelling, while 69% said they would not consider travelling if it involved a 14-day quarantine.
The UK government is proposing to implement a 14-day quarantine requirement for all new arrivals later this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic, mirroring steps taken by other nations including France.
According to Iata, quarantine risks slowing down the recovery within the travel sector. "Iata strongly urges governments to find alternatives to maintaining or introducing arrival quarantine measures as part of post-pandemic travel restrictions.
"Quarantine measures on arrival would further damage confidence in air travel; a risk-based layered approach of globally harmonised biosecurity measures is critical for the restart."
Iata expects 2021 global passenger demand to come in 24% below 2019 levels and 32% lower than its October 2019 air passenger forecast. It doesn’t expect demand to return to 2019 levels until 2023, and further believes demand in 2025 to be 10% less than previously forecast.
Additionally, Iata fears more profitable international and long-haul flight demand will take longer to recover than domestic travel. “The impacts of the crisis on long-haul travel will be much more severe and of a longer duration than what is expected in domestic markets," said Iata director general and chief executive Alexandre de Juniac.
"This makes globally agreed and implemented biosecurity standards for the travel process all the more critical. We have a small window to avoid the consequences of uncoordinated unilateral measures that marked the post-9/11 period. We must act fast."
On quarantine, Iata said it was vital governments didn’t make the "prognosis" for aviation worse with "impracticable quarantine measures", stressing the need for a "safe solution" that balances passenger confidence against measures to prevent further spread of the virus – such as "near-instant" Covid-19 testing and immunity passports.
Its temporary suggestions include preventing those who are symptomatic from travelling through temperature screening and other measures, and requiring governments to develop "robust systems of health declarations and vigorous contact tracing".