COVID-19 Weekly Recap: September 5 – 11

COVID-19 Weekly Recap: September 5 – 11

This article is intended to provide travel professionals and business leaders with an objective perspective on the evolving situation through facts, statistics, official statements and key resources from international regulatory bodies and government ministries. The outbreak is moving quickly, and some of the articles may fall rapidly out of date. We will provide updates on a weekly basis as the outbreak evolves.

Bangkok Post: TAT Says Country Ready to Reopen – 10 September, 2020

Thailand will have to tolerate the possibility of new coronavirus cases when it reopens its borders to international tourists, but the country can minimise the impact and avoid a bruising level of unemployment with risk management, says the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).  

IATA: The Time to Prepare for COVID-19 Vaccine Transport is Now9 September, 2020 

Air cargo plays a key role in the distribution of vaccines in normal times through well-established global time- and temperature-sensitive distribution systems. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged governments to begin careful planning with industry stakeholders to ensure full preparedness when vaccines for COVID-19 are approved and available for distribution. 

Airline Weekly: Are Airlines Ready to Transport Vaccines? 9 September, 2020 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says the airline industry could be ready to air ship billions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines, when they’re ready to be administered, but only if governments around the world coordinate now on transport policies.

CNA: Pre-departure COVID-19 Tests to be Required for Travelers from India who are not Singapore Residents 9 September, 2020 

Travellers with recent travel history to India and who are not Singapore citizens or permanent residents will soon be required to take a COVID-19 test before departing for Singapore, the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force said on September 9. 

Bangkok Post: Vietnam May Resume International Commercial Flights from Mid-Sept – 9 September, 2020 

Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority is working on a plan to resume international flights from Sept 15 with all passengers quarantined for 14 days upon arrival in the country, according to a post on the government’s website, which cited Dinh Viet Thang, director of the authority.

Airline Weekly: Will Airlines be Hamstrung by a Great Depression Mindset Post-Covid? 8 September, 2020 

What could come next after Covid? Another pandemic? Deteriorating relations between the world’s two largest economies? Cyberterrorism that takes down a country’s electrical grid? Volcanoes? Asteroids? All are possibilities. Airlines will need to adapt and change and continue to invest, but must be prepared for a variety of scenarios in the post-Covid world.

Reuters: Cheap Seats Give Chinese Airlines a Much-needed Passenger Bounce – 7 September, 2020 

Looking to travel from Beijing to Hangzhou in eastern China? A flight can be had for as low as 180 yuan ($26) – one of a slew of deals fuelling a robust recovery in Chinese passenger levels and which could provide a model for a beleaguered industry globally. At the same time, China’s success in mitigating the spread of the coronavirus has helped consumers regain the confidence to travel.

OAG: OAG Coronavirus Update – Week Thirty-Four Probably 15 Million Seats to Be Cut Before Month End – 7 September, 2020 

In the last seven days airlines have adjusted their schedules resulting in some 1.8 million seats being withdrawn at short notice as airlines grapple with the issues thrown at them every day by various travel requirements. At the moment some 59.1 million seats are planned for next week and an incredible 68.3 million for the last week of September; network planners and revenue management teams are going to be cutting around 15 million seats through to the month end – GULP!

Skift: Maldives Notches Small and Big Wins in Its Reopening Act – 7 September, 2020 

Maldives tourism has been limping to recovery since the destination reopened on July 15, but resorts say there is good reason to expect a sprint rather than a hobble in the fourth quarter of 2020 and first quarter 2021. This is despite an AFP report last Wednesday, “Maldives tightens tourist virus rules after spike in cases,” which is making its rounds and may dampen consumer confidence to visit.

CNBC: United CEO Says Air Travel demand Will Roar Back Once There’s a Coronavirus Vaccine – 31 August, 2020 

The TSA says passenger levels are still down 70% compared with the same time a year ago, mainly because leisure travel remains weak. Scott Kirby; the CEO  of United Airline says “We’ve got a tough year ahead until there’s a vaccine, the good news is, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

BBC: Will You Need an “Immunity Passport” to Travel?  – 31 August, 2020 

Some of the earliest countries to be impacted by the virus have been quick to adopt health certificates – but can immunity passports really help us travel safely again? In recent months, the idea of introducing digital immunity passports has begun to circulate as a potential lifeline to jumpstart international leisure travel.

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