Complex travel guidelines have created a “barrier to global mobility” which is limiting and delaying industry recovery, according to IATA. The travel association has this week published a policy paper calling on governments to simplify health protocols, utilise digital solutions to process the administrative repercussions COVID-19, and continually reassess safety protocols in line with risk levels. Recommendations from the paper reflect opinion from companies across the travel industry, namely, to remove travel barriers such as quarantine and testing measures for fully vaccinated travellers and implement quarantine-free travel for non-vaccinated individuals who test negative pre-departure.
The news comes as the UK Foreign Office updated its travel advice for six African countries due to concerns about a new COVID variant. All but essential travel has been imposed for South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Eswatini, with direct flights banned from Friday 26th November – just weeks after some of the biggest airlines announced plans to ramp up flights to south African countries.
Staying in Africa, the Nigerian government plans to launch a new national airline, Nigeria Air, by April 2022. The creation of a flag carrying airline aims to improve aviation infrastructure and spur economic growth to make Nigeria a hub for the western region of Africa.
In sustainability, the UK government is being urged to develop sustainable aviation fuel production plants to facilitate increased use of the fuel. A report by the Union Connectivity Review advises that plants should be developed in parts of the UK that are particularly reliant on domestic aviation, and that the initiative should be driven by incentives, tax benefits and subsidies to promote SAF uptake. In similar news, the World Travel & Tourism Council has announced plans to produce annual reports outlining the carbon impact of tourism. Understanding the impact that the industry makes will provide a benchmark for a more sustainable future.
And finally, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is testing a peculiar method to deter flocks of birds from the surrounding airspace. A pilot project will see a team of 19 pigs settle into life on a 2-hectare strip between two runways. The six-week project will track the effectiveness of pigs for preventing avian activity. It might be the closest we get to pigs flying!