Testing all airline passengers

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

This is what IATA – the international airline organisation – would like to see introduced on world-wide basis.

Test all passengers at the airport before they fly?

It believes that such an introduction would raise passenger confidence and thus bolster international travel which at present is 92% down on 2019.

For IATA to be successful in  its wishes there needs answering a lot of questions not the least of which is whether there is such a rapid and reliable testing system that can be introduced into airports and where the results would be known before a passenger boards a flight. It probably means that the analysis period would have ti ne longer than 90 minutes.

Speaking at the World Aviation Congress which this year is an online event, the head of IATA – Alexandre de Juniac – believed that such a system was available. The appetite to fly was stull there according to recent research carried out by IATA which suggested that 87% of people would fly again if testing was introduced.

It was also claimed that testing gave more confidence to passengers.

The issue with rapid testing so far is that the medical establishment seems to be in some doubt as to its efficacy. Resolving that and getting a body like the world Health organisation to agree with a stamp of approval would help.

But then there is the problem of politics. Would all governments accept it and agree that passengers from, say a country with a high number of cases but none with any of the passengers on this flight, allow those passengers into their country without quarantine? It is thus a political decision that needs resolving.

Then there is what about the passengers who fail they test. Would they get a fare refund?

Finally there is the question as to who pays for it, the airline, the passenger, the airport or a government? That is sure to lead to arguments so better that an airline takes the lead and pays because it will confidence to the passenger that the airline is at least trying to do something.

In time, a vaccine will probably be found and that should end conversations like this provided that the passenger carries with them a form confirming they have taken the vaccine. No vaccine, no flight is likely to be the future mantra.

Until then the travel industry will have to forge its own survival.

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