‘Jobs are at stake’: Asia ‘playing catch-up’ on post-COVID travel – Al Jazeera English

by | May 17, 2022 | Jobs

The head of the global airline body says the region falling behind the rest of the world on restarting international travel.Asia-Pacific countries are “playing catch-up” on restarting international travel and should ease remaining pandemic-related border restrictions without delay, the head of the global airline industry’s representative body said on Tuesday.
Speaking at an aviation summit in Singapore, Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said the region had fallen behind the global trend despite “growing momentum” towards lifting restrictions.
“The demand for people to travel is clear. As soon as measures are relaxed there is an immediate positive reaction from travellers,” Walsh said in a keynote address to the Changi Aviation Summit. “So it is critical that all stakeholders, including governments, are well-prepared for the restart. We cannot delay. Jobs are at stake and people want to travel.”
Walsh said air travel in the region during the first quarter of 2022 was just 17 percent of 2019 levels – compared with about 60 percent in Europe, North America, and Latin America.
“Things are improving, but they will not improve fast enough unless countries follow the initiative of countries like Singapore and remove the requirements for tests and quarantine for vaccinated travellers,” said Walsh, who previously served as the CEO of British Air …

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