On 31 May, senior leaders from Airlines for America (A4A) and the US Travel Association had a meeting at the White House where they once again stressed the need for the Administration to end the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated travellers. Airlines for America issued the following statement after the meeting:
‘A4A appreciated the opportunity to reiterate our call for the Administration to eliminate the pre-departure testing requirement for vaccinated travellers, which is no longer aligned with the current epidemiological environment. For months, our industry has urged Washington to sunset this pandemic-era policy, which continues to harm our nation’s economy and hinder air travel to the US.’
A4A president and CEO, Nicholas E. Calio, added, ‘Science has shown time and time again that the pre-departure testing requirement is not effective and is not stopping or even slowing the spread of Covid-19. Quite frankly, the only impact the pre-departure testing requirement is having is a chilling effect on an already fragile economy here in the US.”
A recent survey of A4A’s member airlines concluded that carriers would have an additional 4.3 million international customers if the inbound pre-departure testing requirement were to be lifted. Instead, the research found that these millions of people are travelling and spending their money on vacations or business trips in countries which have lifted testing requirements for vaccinated travellers.
“Despite the countless studies affirming that the hospital-grade air onboard aircraft is some of the cleanest available, and with the significant increase in vaccination rates, the Administration continues to hold air travel to a standard different than land border crossings,” added Calio.
“Across the country, states that rely on travel and tourism to support their local economies are paying the price. There is simply no scientific justification for maintaining the pre-departure testing requirement,” Calio continued. “It is past time for the US to catch up with the rest of the globe, follow the science and eliminate this pandemic-era barrier to air travel.”