IATA has lashed out at governments around the world for their approach to dealing with new Covid-19 outbreaks.

In a statement, IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac blamed what he called the "full stop" in global travel demand recovery on governments because of their decisions to respond to new virus outbreaks with additional travel restrictions and quarantine measures.

Alexandre de Juniac
Alexandre de Juniac

"This is clearly inefficient," de Juniac said. "Such measures increase hardship for millions. Vaccines offer the long-term solution. In the meantime, testing is the best way that we see to stop the spread of the virus and start the economic recovery. How much more anguish do people need to go through -- job losses, mental stress -- before governments will understand that?"

On Thursday, the trade organization reported that global air travel demand was off 70.3% year over year in November, nearly unchanged from October's 70.6% year-over-year decline. International demand was down 88.3% in November compared with 2019, while demand for domestic flights in countries around the world was down 41%.

Though the statistics are for November, de Juniac's remarks were almost surely impacted by more recently imposed government restrictions, as well. This week, for example, Canada added a testing mandate on top of existing entry bans and quarantine requirements. And late last month, countries around the world implemented new bans and restrictions on entry from the U.K. after a more easily transmitted stain of Covid-19 emerged there.


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