Quarantine Measures by UK and Spain are Damaging for Air Transport Recovery, says ERA

The European airline association claims such restrictions provide no strategic benefit.

Illustration: Freepik

Right on the heels of the latest travel-related quarantine measures announced by the United Kingdom and Spain, the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) has called the restrictions arduous and damaging to the recovery of the air transport sector in Europe.

A statement from the UK-based trade association said that the recent decision by the Spanish and British governments to impose a 14-day quarantine period on incoming travelers will not aid the recovery process of aviation or help kick start Europe’s economy. Rather, it will lengthen the time it will take for the travel and tourism industry to resume operations and services to consumers.

While health remains the top priority for both industry and consumers, the ERA maintains that a more united and interconnected approach, without the need for restricted quarantine measures, would allow aviation and tourism to restart.

“A clear set of measures across the EU and third countries is needed urgently to allow aviation to recover. A strategic set of processes and protocols can be implemented to make this happen that would re-establish confidence in flying,” said ERA Director General Montserrat Barriga in the statement. “Quarantine measures will enforce a stalemate situation that benefits neither the passenger nor the airline. Collaboration is needed by all involved, otherwise the pathway to reconnect and reunite Europe will remain long, lengthy, and economically devastating.”

According to the ERA, which represents more than 50 airlines and 148 associate members, consumer confidence is crucial for enabling airlines to resume operations and secure future passenger bookings. Imposing complicated quarantine measures, which are unlikely to be controlled or enforced, provide no strategic benefit. Appropriate measures, based on scientific evidence, are required to allow airlines to start flying again and passengers to start traveling.

Jonathan Hinkles, the managing director of ERA member airline Loganair, added: “Public health is of paramount importance. That said, there appears to be no logic in restricting international travel from areas where Covid-19 infection rates are low, yet that is exactly what is now being proposed. These measures will do tremendous further damage to the regional aviation industry for no obvious benefit to public health, as well as holding back the recovery of essential industries unless they are exempted from these quarantine measures.”

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