Countries around the world should use past experience on Covid-19 to tackle the new Omicron variant, Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General has advised.
Mr Walsh says that governments should make better data-driven decisions than the mostly knee-jerk reactions to restrict travel that is being prioritized. The US, Canada and Australia have joined a growing list of countries imposing travel restrictions from south Africa where Omicron was first detected sparking global concern.
This, Says Walsh will have a direct impact on air travel and consequently affect global air cargo market.
“The impact of government reactions to the Omicron variant is a concern. If it dampens travel demand, capacity issues will become more acute.”
IATA has released October 2021 data for global air cargo markets showing that demand continued to be well above pre-crisis levels and that the capacity constraints have eased slightly.
“October data reflected an overall positive outlook for air cargo. Supply chain congestion continued to push manufacturers towards the speed of air cargo. Demand was up 9.4% in October compared to pre-crisis levels. And capacity constraints were slowly resolving as more passenger travel meant more belly capacity for air cargo,” says Walsh.
For Walsh, the focus of governments should be squarely on ensuring the integrity of supply chains and increasing the distribution of vaccines.