LONDON – According to the Future Aviation Forum, passengers are confused about health requirements and restrictions this far in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many people in each country surveyed by the forum say they chose not to fly in 2021 because of the COVID-related health requirements.
The Survey Screams Out Significant Negativity…
The following three statistics are most worrying for the travel sector:
- Many people in every country surveyed say they chose not to fly in 2021 because of Covid-related requirements
- 46% of respondents in the US, 61% of people in Italy, 65% of people in the UK, and 68% of people in the Gulf chose not to fly in 2021 because of the health-related requirements
- And in a worrying sign for the sector’s recovery, it finds that a third of Americans (32%), 40% of Italians, 40% of Brits, and nearly half (46%) of people in the Gulf say that confusion over health requirements will keep them from flying in 2022.
The survey finds that opinion is divided in terms of whether countries worked together to facilitate ease of travel during the pandemic. Majorities of people in the Gulf (73%) and Italy (59%) think they did, whilst most people in the US (56%) and Britain (70%) say they did not.
In terms of whether the aviation sector is prepared for another public health crisis, only a majority of people in the Gulf (64%) are confident it is, whilst respondents in the other surveyed countries are divided.
More than a third of people in the UK, and a quarter of people in the US and Italy say airports and airlines are not prepared for the next public health crisis.
Countries Need to Harmonize With Entry Requirements…
His Excellency Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Transport & Logistics commented on these statistics, calling for more harmonization across the globe with such requirements:
“There is a clear need for countries to work together to harmonize health requirements for passengers.”
“For the global aviation sector to make a full and speedy recovery, it is essential that we improve clarity around current requirements and build confidence in the sector’s ability to handle future public health crises”.
Also commenting on this was His Excellency Abdulaziz Al-Duailej, president of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation:
“Covid-19 has severely impacted air traffic and passenger travel across the globe and has had a chilling impact on the growth prospects for the global aviation sector.”
“With passenger traffic not expected to return to pre-2019 levels until 2024, we need to find ways to harmonize health information protocols, enhance information sharing and transparency among countries, protect the health and safety of passengers, and restore passenger trust – these are some of the fundamental challenges we will tackle at the Future Aviation Forum”.
Future Aviation Forum…
The next event for the Future Aviation Forum is due to take place in Riyadh on May 9-11, where this will be discussed majorly.
Delegates who will be attending the event will attend up to 40 sessions over the course of the two-day event focusing on the following three things:
- Passenger Experience
- Business Recovery post-COVID
Passenger experience is a big part of the COVID health requirements, with discussion to be had on how the industry makes it easier, especially with recovery in full swing at the moment.
It is of major importance that the industry takes away some innovative ideas in how the Summer 2022 season can be maximized to the best of its ability.
Securing revenue and returning to profitability is a major thing for the sector, as this is going to enhance further growth as the decade progresses.
And that is what the focus is going to be for the next two to three years. Recovery. That is the most important outcome for the preservation of this industry.