Compulsory vaccination for international flights? This is what the president of Qantas asks

It is a statement that could cause turbulence at a time when the aviation industry is unable to take off due to the COVID-19 crisis. For Alan Joyce, CEO of the Australian airline Qantas, once the coronavirus vaccine is available, it will become as important and mandatory element in international travel as a passport and boarding pass.

“We will require international travelers to be vaccinated before they can board,” Joyce said in an interview with the show’s journalist Tracy Grimshaw. A Current Affair on Australian channel 9Now. He added: “Certainly for international visitors coming in and people leaving the country, we think it is a necessity.”

The Qantas chief believes that vaccines will be needed not just to get in and out of Australia, but around the world. “After talking to my colleagues from other airlines around the world, I think it will be common.”

A decision that could have a ripple effect. “As far as we know, no specific policy of the Star Alliance airlines has yet been announced, but we are closely monitoring the rapid evolution of the situation,” a spokesperson for the Star Alliance, which comprises 26 airlines, told euronews. them United, SAS, ANA, Turkish Airlines and Lufhansa. “More and more airlines around the world are likely to adopt that policy.”

In Europe the question still stands. A Ryanair spokesperson, interviewed by Euronews, said that “no vaccination certificate will be required for short-haul flights within the EU (nor will Qantas require it for its domestic Australian flights).”

Under the EU’s free movement regime, we expect quarantine restrictions to be lifted in spring 2021, once effective vaccines are available to protect high-risk groups against COVID-19. “

For Air France, the attitude is one of caution. “Air France closely follows events related to the availability and distribution of a vaccine (…) The company actively participates in discussions with French and international governments and health authorities and will follow all recommendations or obligations issued for passenger transport “explains a spokesperson contacted by Euronews. Before adding: “At this stage it is not possible to determine the precise conditions that will govern the transport of clients once the vaccine is available.”

A common testing policy while waiting for the vaccine?

As the world eagerly awaits the launch of the Covid vaccines, Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam, three global airline alliances, said the trials could be part of a global approach to boost international travel, reduce reliance on quarantines and slow the spread of the coronavirus.

New testing guidelines from the United Nations International Civil Aviation Authority could “pave the way for establishing a framework of trust between countries,” according to Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh in the joint statement. published on the website. Rob Gurney, CEO of oneworld, and Kristin Colvile, CEO of SkyTeam, also joined in the statement.

The alliances – representing a total of 58 member airlines – cited recent CommonPass digital health passport evidence, which uses a smartphone app to safely verify that passengers have met health requirements, be it a COVID-19 test or a future vaccine.

To date, testing requirements have been the subject of different approaches and experiences, with quarantines and travel restrictions being maintained, while international air travel has decreased by 92% from pre-pandemic Covid-19 levels.