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Global airlines urge safe reopening of borders amid COVID-19 crisis
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The world's airlines are calling for help, urging governments around the globe to safely re-open borders while continuing with relief measures, to help sustain the industry during the COVID-19 crisis.
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The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which accounts for some 290 airlines or 82% of total air traffic, has been frustrated over closed borders, travel restrictions and quarantine measures that "continue to annihilate travel demand," according to its latest announcement.
The association pointed to a "disappointing peak (Northern Hemisphere) summer travel season" in which four in five potential travelers stayed home compared to a year ago. Total July traffic was 79.8% below 2019 levels while international traffic was down 91.9%, according to IATA.
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Although protecting citizens "must be the top priority of governments," IATA’s director general Alexandre de Juniac argues "too many governments are fighting a global pandemic in isolation with a view that closing borders is the only solution."
Rather, de Juniac says governments need to work together to implement measures that "will enable economic and social life to resume while controlling the spread of the virus."