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Willie Walsh: Covid Travel Measures Shouldn’t Become Permanent

Willie Walsh: Covid Travel Measures Shouldn’t Become Permanent

IATA’s Willie Walsh has warned that governments need to start planning for the removal of restrictions like testing and vaccine requirements once the pandemic is over. In a speech on Wednesday, April 7, he said that these measures should not become a permanent feature of the industry.

“While we fully acknowledge and understand the political need for governments to impose these restrictions,” he said, “we believe it is very important that governments start thinking and planning for the removal of restrictions as the health crisis is overcome.”

He also added that IATA wanted to work with governments so that “they can better understand what will be required from airlines, because it’s not going to be easy for airlines just to ramp up activity.”

“That will have to be done in a structured way because all airlines want to see that done in a co-ordinated and in a safe fashion,” he added.

“These are measures that may be necessary as temporary arrangements while we go through this crisis, but once we’re through it, we want to see these restrictions permanently removed so that people can get back to travelling as they experienced back in 2019.”

Walsh took over as director-general of IATA from Alexandre de Juniac on April 1.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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