BOGOTA, October 24 (Reuters) – Obtaining standardized rules for international travelers amid the coronavirus pandemic is the biggest hurdle for Latin American airlines as their recovery threatened by lack of consensus among authorities sanitary ware, industry executives said on Sunday.
Passengers face constant delays and restrictions when traveling between countries due to different entry requirements established to curb the spread of different strains of the coronavirus, aviation industry directors said at a conference in Bogota, Colombia.
“Standardization is vital to building confidence so that people get back on the plane,” said Jose Ricardo Botelho, director general of the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA).
The lack of agreement between different countries, with frequent changes in air transport rules, leads to uncertainty for passengers, airlines and airline staff, said Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines.
“When you are carrying passengers and there are thousands of requirements, it is almost impossible that at least some passengers do not have the correct papers,” he told reporters in the speech of opening of the ALTA annual conference.
Some countries are even fining airlines for non-compliance with the rules by passengers, Heilbron added, without specifying which ones.
Nearly a year and a half of travel restrictions have put financial strains on airlines and airports around the world, requiring a fuller reopening of travel so the industry can turn around and save millions of jobs .
“Generally speaking, there are quite a few agreements and there is relative standardization, but the big differences come from the health authorities,” said Lucas Rodriguez, head of the air transport office of the authority of the United Nations. Colombian civil aviation.
The need to meet new travel demands has shaken the balance sheets of airlines.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the industry’s leading trade body, this month revised its estimate of airlines’ net losses this year to $ 51.8 billion, from a previous forecast of 47.7 billion. billions of dollars.
IATA expects airlines to lose $ 11.6 billion in revenue in 2022.
Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra and Carlos Vargas Writing by Oliver Griffin; edited by Diane Craft
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