The EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) launched this week has given fresh hope for the swift return of international travel across Europe. However, airlines and airports have warned that inconsistent implementation of the system by member states could hinder free and safe movement of citizens.
A joint letter sent to the EU Heads of State by Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe), Airlines for Europe (A4E), International Air Transport Association (IATA) and European Regions Airline Association (ERA) calls for a harmonious approach to the DCC initiative to avoid “unnecessary duplication of measures and as a consequence, queues and crowding at airports”. The statement came in response to news that no fewer than 10 different national approaches for DCC are currently under review across the EU.
Elsewhere, British Airways successfully conducted the world’s first net zero carbon freighter flights, with planes powered by fuel containing sustainably sourced waste such as cooking oil. The UK government also announced the opening of its Zero Emission Flight Infrastructure (ZEFI) competition, which will encourage business and universities to research infrastructure that will support the mass uptake of electric and hydrogen aircraft.
In Asia, Singapore Health Minister Ong Ye Kung is hopeful for the return of leisure travel to international countries with high vaccination rates, such as the United States and Hong Kong. In nearby Thailand, authorities have this week opened the island of Phuket to international visitors without the need to quarantine, as part of a new ‘sandbox’ pilot scheme to safely restart tourism.
And finally, the dream of a real flying car is now one step closer to becoming reality. Professor Stefan Klein completed a 35-minute journey flying from Nitra Airport to Bratislava Airport in his AirCar, a hybrid car-aircraft that can take to the skies running on regular petrol pump fuel.