Home News IATA warns quarantine measures threaten aviation restart in Africa and the Middle...

IATA warns quarantine measures threaten aviation restart in Africa and the Middle East

208
0
Health official screening passengers at one of Nigeria's international airport

…139,500 jobs at risk in Nigeria

THUR, JULY 02 2020-theG&BJournal-The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged governments in Africa and the Middle East (AME) to implement alternatives to quarantine on arrival that would allow economies to re-start while avoiding the importation of COVID-19 cases.

Government-imposed quarantine measures in 36 countries across Africa and the Middle East (AME) account for 40% of all quarantine measures globally. With over 80% of travelers unwilling to travel when quarantine is required, the impact of these measures is that countries remain in lockdown even if their borders are open.

“It is critical that AME governments implement alternatives to quarantine measures. AME has the highest number of countries in the world with government-imposed quarantine measures on arriving passengers. The region is effectively in complete lockdown with the travel and tourism sector shuttered. This is detrimental in a region where 8.6 million people depend on aviation for their livelihoods,” said Muhammad Albakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East.

IATA proposes a layering of measures to protect public health while re-starting aviation, focused in two areas: Reducing the risk of imported cases via travellers, discouraging symptomatic passengers from traveling with airlines offering flexibility to passengers who need to adjust their schedule, public health risk mitigation measures such as health screening by governments in the form of health declarations, COVID-19 testing for travelers from countries perceived to be “higher-risk”, mitigating Risk in Cases Where an Infected Person Does Travel, reducing the risk of transmission during the air travel journey with the implementation of the Take-Off guidelines published by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), contact tracing to efficiently isolate any traveler who may become symptomatic and infectious after arrival and reducing risk of transmission at destination through overall government measures to fight the virus.

“Implementing a layered approach should give governments the confidence to open borders without quarantine, and passengers the confidence to fly. Air connectivity is critical to economic and sustainable development in and across AME,” said Albakri.

Effect of COVID-19 on AME

Economies across AME have been devastated by COVID-19, and the aviation industry has been especially hard-hit. Across the region, more than 8.6 million jobs in the airline industry and those businesses supported by aviation are at risk. Thousands of jobs have already been lost due to the shutdown of air traffic.

The latest assessment from IATA Economics shows that the outlook at national level has worsened for major aviation markets in the region since April. For example, the passenger numbers, airline revenue and jobs at risk impacts for the four biggest AME markets have declined across every metric.

IATA figure shows that countries like Nigeria have estimated 139,500 jobs at risk in June 2020. While Ethiopia-530,400, Egypt- 297,200, Kenya-207,800, South Africa -269,900 all have equally huge number of jobs at risk.

New research also from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that the impact on the African aviation industry and on economies caused by the shutdown of air traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened over recent weeks.

In April, IATA estimated that the region’s airlines could lose $6 billion of passenger revenue compared to 2019. That is $2billion more than was expected at the beginning of the month. It said Job losses in aviation and related industries could grow to 3.1 million. That is half of the region’s 6.2 million aviation-related employment. Previous estimate was 2 million. Full-year 2020 traffic is expected to plummet by 51% compared to 2019. Previous estimate was a fall of 32% while GDP supported by aviation in the region could fall by $28 billion from $56 billion. Previous estimate was $17.8 billion.

IATA noted that the estimates are based on a scenario of severe travel restrictions lasting for three months, with a gradual lifting of restrictions in domestic markets, followed by regional and intercontinental.

Nigeria have since the pandemic recorded 4.7 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.99 billion revenue loss, risking 125,400 jobs and US$0.89 billion in contribution to Nigeria’s economy.

The Countries hardest hit include:

South Africa
14.5 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$3.02 billion revenue loss, risking 252,100 jobs and US$5.1 billion in contribution to South Africa’s economy

Nigeria
4.7 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.99 billion revenue loss, risking 125,400 jobs and US$0.89 billion in contribution to Nigeria’s economy

Ethiopia
2.5 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.43 billion revenue loss, risking 500,500 jobs and US$1.9 billion in contribution to Ethiopia’s economy

Kenya
3.5 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.73 billion revenue loss, risking 193,300 jobs and US$1.6 billion in contribution to Kenya’s economy

Tanzania
1.5 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.31billion revenue loss, risking 336,200 jobs and US$1.5 billion in contribution to Tanzania’s economy

Mauritius
2.1 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.54 billion revenue loss, risking 73,700 jobs and US$2 billion in contribution to Mauritius’ economy

Mozambique
0.7 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.13 billion revenue loss, risking 126,400 jobs and US$0.2 billion in contribution to Mozambique’s economy

Ghana
1.4 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.38 billion revenue loss, risking 284,300 jobs and US$1.6 billion in contribution to Ghana’s economy

Senegal
1.3 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.33 billion revenue loss, risking 156,200 jobs and US$0.64 billion in contribution to Senegal’s economy

Cape Verde

1.2 million fewer passengers resulting in a US$0.2 billion revenue loss, risking 46,700 jobs and US$0.48 billion in contribution to Cape Verde’s economy.

|twitter:@theGBJournal|email: info@govandbusinessjournal.com.ng|