The Airports Authority of India has released new guidelines for air travel to the Northeast, quarantine has been made mandatory in several states.
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The airline industry has been one of the worst hit by the pandemic. With air travel coming to a grinding halt for months in many countries, an otherwise booming airline industry took its worst hit this year.
Even after restrictions on domestic and select international flights have been lifted, the fortnight-long mandatory quarantine across the globe is dissuading many potential passengers from booking their flights.
In order to revive the airline industry, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to develop a better testing method that would eliminate the need of a mandatory quarantine.
IATA represents 290 airlines across the world and is coordinating with WHO and International Civil Aviation Organisation. A quick, affordable and efficient testing system is being developed by the three international organisations.
Conrad Clifford, the regional vice president of IATA for Asia Pacific laid down the basic framework of this testing system. The test would ideally be conducted before departure.
Countries with a similar level of COVID risk would not require any further testing for passengers travelling between these two countries. For example, Singapore and Hong Kong who have recently opened their borders to each other after seven months, have removed the mandatory requirement of quarantine for citizens.
The test would ideally cost less than $10 (Rs 735). The risk of infection in flights has been further reduced by the strongest safety and sanitation measures. On-board food and magazine services have also been paused to minimise the risk of infection.
The IATA had stated in June that the airline business would lose an estimate of 84 billion dollars. This collaborative step by the IATA and WHO would ease travel as well as give a much needed boost to the airline industry.
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