He stressed the importance of using airline fleets in the region for shipping

"IATA" calls for preparing to transport the "Corona" vaccine by air as soon as it becomes available

Mohammed Al-Bakri: "The air cargo sector in the region continues to gradually recover, according to current indications."

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on the countries of the Middle East to start making the necessary preparations, in order to transfer and distribute the Coronavirus vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

The Vice President of the Federation in the Africa and the Middle East Region, Muhammad Ali Al-Bakri, said during a press briefing yesterday that the fleets of airlines in the region should be used to ship the vaccine by air, given that the aircraft designated for air freight will not be sufficient alone to ship the vaccine.

He added that the preparations should include assistance in transport operations, government agencies, travel capacity, training and cross-border operations, to ensure the safety of the vaccine supply chain in a completely safe manner, indicating the need to review many procedures, to deliver the vaccine as soon as possible.

Al-Bakri stressed that the air cargo sector in the region is currently recovering, and will continue to recover gradually, according to current indicators, coinciding with import and export requests and the need to provide medicines, medical supplies and foodstuffs, noting that the losses incurred by the shipping sector are much less than that incurred by the aviation sector as a whole, as Air cargo volume in August was 7% less than August 2019.

Al-Bakri called, again, to resort to conducting rapid Corona virus checks before traveling in the countries of the Middle East, as an alternative to the quarantine currently in force in some countries.

He stressed that there is a need to urgently dispense with quarantine requirements, and replace it with a quick examination before travel, to ensure that the virus does not spread, to balance health issues, and to maintain the security and safety of residents, which allows for operation and recovery for the sector.

He also called for the acceleration of the application of one methodology among the countries of the region, with regard to procedures for checking and protecting travelers, pointing out that IATA works with the governments of different countries, and calls for the application of the unified method quickly.

Expectations of increased travel demand

The Vice President of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Africa and the Middle East, Muhammad Ali Al-Bakri, said that the number of passengers in the Middle East region is expected to reach 45 million this year, compared with 155 million passengers last year, provided that Next year, according to expectations, demand will rise to 45% of the levels recorded in 2019, to reach 90 million passengers to, from and within the region.

Al-Bakri indicated that the region will not return to the levels it recorded last year, until the end of 2024, and he expected the region to lose about 1.7 million jobs in the air transport sector and its related sectors during the year 2020.

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