The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is calling on the governments of the European Union Member States to lift their border restrictions and continue to relieve their imposed measures due to the Coronavirus pandemic, in order to help the airlines recover from the devastation caused by the deadly virus.

IATA has stressed that the travel demand continues to be annihilated by restrictions that a large share of countries have imposed in a bid to stop the virus from spreading, mainly because of the border closure, quarantine rules and travel restrictions, VisaGuide.World reports.

“Protecting their citizens must be the top priority of governments. But too many governments are fighting a global pandemic in isolation with a view that closing borders are the only solution,” IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac emphasized.

The International Air Transport Association urged the  governments “to grasp the seriousness of the crisis facing the airline industry and its consequences for their citizens.” It has also urged the European governments to focus on reopening borders and continuing relief measures.

The recent report published by IATA noted that a total of 79.8 per cent decrease had been marked in air traffic,  during July, compared to the same period one year earlier, at the same time international traffic in July marked 91.9 per cent decrease compared to the same time last year.

“Many airlines will not have the financial means to survive an indefinite shutdown that, for many, already exceeds a half-year. In these extraordinary times, governments will need to continue with financial and other relief measures to the greatest extent possible,” IATA’s Director General stressed.

IATA continuously insists on lifting border restrictions

This is not the first time that the association raises its concerns regarding the damages affecting the European airlines directly.

Last month, the association published a report, which was focused on estimating the impacts that provoked the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, air passenger numbers and employment.

IATA’s report revealed that the imposed travel restrictions had affected the number of flights in Europe, which is 50 per cent below, in recent months, compared to the same time last year.

Besides, the International Air Transport Association highlighted that about 60 per cent of the decrease could be noted in the passenger numbers or about 705 million passenger journeys.

Last month, representatives from the International Air Transport Association and  Airports Council International (ACI) urged the countries to accept a negative COVID-19 test result, instead of introducing quarantine rules for travellers, upon their arrival.

But a poll conducted by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) concluded that citizens of European countries agree that their borders need to be more protected amid the COVID-19 outbreak, at the same time respect for human rights should be supported.

“One of its most unequivocal results was a widespread belief that, over the long term, borders needed to be controlled more,” the ECFR’s statement reads.

ECFR’s poll was conducted in nine European countries including Denmark, Germany, Bulgaria,  Italy, France, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden and participated by over 11,000 persons.