Latin American aviation groups urge roll back of flight bans and new travel restrictions | News

The Latin American and Caribbean aviation industry is urging governments in the region to roll back newly imposed travel restrictions, including Covid testing requirements and flight bans on certain routes.

The effort comes as airline groups elsewhere wage similar campaigns against new restrictions that have, in some regions, stalled or reversed the sector’s recovery from the pandemic.

“Measures that had been lifted, such as quarantines on top of testing requirements, are being re-imposed,” says a joint statement from several Latin American and Caribbean aviation groups. “All of this represents a setback in the recovery efforts in many economic sectors, such as travel and tourism.”

The statement was issued by the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association, Airports Council International Latin America and the Caribbean, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation.

The groups are calling governments to adhere to a set of “internationally agreed” travel measures rather than implement new, stricter and uncoordinated restrictions.

“We cannot go back to the beginning of the pandemic – closing borders or apply quarantines when even the World Health Organization has pointed out that the virus cannot be controlled this way,” the groups say.

“We must learn to live with the virus without putting millions of jobs at risk and crippling the economies that depend on aviation, because there are no alternatives for fast, safe and reliable transportation,” adds IATA vice-president for the Americas Peter Cerda.

The request comes as numerous governments around the world have tightened travel rules in recent weeks amid outbreaks of reportedly more-contagious variants of the Covid-19 virus. Many nations banned flights from the UK in December, and others are now requiring inbound travellers to both present a negative Covid-19 test result and to quarantine for 14 days.

Airlines and their representatives have said the moves are reversing what had been a slow recovery, causing them to shed more jobs and cut more routes.