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Vaccines and tests together need to be used as a tool to guide recovery, ACI World Director General tells Davos Agenda

January 28, 2021

Comments were made during the Restoring Cross-Border Mobility panel

Montreal, 28 January 2021 – Airports Council International (ACI) World Director General today told the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda that cooperation on global standards towards a global harmonization of processes will help promote industry recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

Speaking on the Restoring Cross-Border Mobility panel with global business and government leaders, Mr. de Oliveira said there were some signs for optimism but the industry is braced for the first half of 2021.

“This will, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better this year, but we expect, from June and July, to see light at the end of the tunnel with the development of vaccines and by using tests to reduce quarantines,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “This will give passengers and states faith that we are doing the right thing to recover.

“Cooperation on global standards towards a global harmonization of the process will help to get us out of this crisis – vaccines and tests need to be used as a tool. There is no way that there will be zero risk, unfortunately, but we can work together to get the industry back on track.

“Collaboration is the best approach. We advocate on behalf of our airports around the world and with our industry partners, the airlines and the tourist communities linked to aviation. Aviation is a global business, and we need to have a global perspective. We are willing to collaborate and work together with the WHO, ICAO and IATA in our global standards for the industry.

“Millions of jobs are at risk, the economic downturn is at risk of getting worse, but aviation will play a key role in recovery. The industry lost $112 billion last year, and we lost 65% of expected global passenger traffic. International traffic is not expected to recover before 2024 and 2025 (in some markets later than this). There are some good developments in domestic markets with some recovery, but international traffic is still at a standstill.”

Mr. de Oliveira also stressed the importance of harmonization of – and interoperability between – the health passes being developed to help ensure global consistency.

The Davos Agenda brings together global leaders to discuss the principles, policies and partnerships needed to work together virtually for a more inclusive, cohesive, and sustainable future as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Mr. de Oliveira was joined on the panel by Prime Minister of Aruba Evelyna Christina Wever-Croes, Minister of Health for Canada Patty Hajdu, The Commons Project Chief Executive Officer Paul Meyer, and JetBlue Airways Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty. The panel was moderated by Travel and Leisure Editor-in-Chief Jacqueline Gifford.

Notes for editors

  1. More information about the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda.
  2. Stay up to date with ACI World’s COVID-19 communications through its dedicated news hub.
  3. Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, was founded in 1991 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and other partners in world aviation, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, customer-centric and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2021, ACI serves 701 members, operating 1933 airports in 183 countries.

Media contacts

Anita Berthier
Director, Communications
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254