With the European Union (EU) preparing to gradually lift Covid-19 travel restrictions on international travel starting on Wednesday, the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) is urging governments to work together to proceed in a careful and consistent manner. The organization noted that while the European business aviation community welcomes the European Commission’s efforts to manage the opening, it signaled that safety remains its top priority.
On June 30, the European Council announced that non-essential travel from 15 countries will be permitted from July 1, based on the extent to which they have controlled the Covid-19 pandemic. Notably, the U.S., Brazil, Russia, and India remain banned, although the EU does intend to review the restrictions every two weeks.
During the crisis, Europe’s business aviation community has continued to provide support for humanitarian relief efforts amid operational challenges and restrictions related to the pandemic. In addition, this community has adopted the latest recommended protection measures to help safeguard the health of its passengers and crews, based on EASA and ECDC guidelines.
As the continent reopens, business aviation, which provides nearly 500,000 jobs and accounts for €90 billion in economic output, will play a vital role, according to EBAA. However, operators need predictability in the form of rules that are applicable across Europe, along with “transparent and timely communications," the association said.
“A coordinated approach to lifting travel restrictions is vital to avoid the confusion experienced by some business aviation operators when Europe reopened its internal borders earlier this month, and effectively restart air travel,” said EBAA secretary-general Athar Husain Khan.