Three of the world’s largest airline alliances are calling for the adoption of standardized testing protocols and digital health passports in place of travel restrictions that have slashed their profits.
Star Alliance – of which Air Canada is a member -- Oneworld and SkyTeam in a joint statement said COVID-19 testing has emerged as a solution to enable the safe restart of international travel by reducing the reliance on the "blunt instrument" of blanket quarantines.
New testing guidelines from the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) could “pave the way for a framework of trust to be established between countries,” said Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh.
The alliances express support technical solutions, such as the digital "health pass"CommonPass, that provide a "consistent, scalable and affordable" way to declare passenger health data.
Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney and SkyTeam CEO Kristin Colvile both noted that digital health passes work to restore confidence among travellers and reopen borders. Colvile added they complement the multi-layered safety measures already implemented by airlines and airports.
"Aviation supports millions of jobs around the world and drives international commerce, trade and tourism. Urgent action is needed to adopt testing and technology to mitigate COVID risks and safely and quickly revive international air travel," Colvile said.
Star Alliance, oneworld and SkyTeam collectively represent 58 member airlines, which together carry over 60% of world airline capacity and over 1.87 billion passengers annually prior to the COVID-19 crisis.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.