The International Air Transport Association (IATA for its acronym in English) calls on the aviation authorities of Panama and Venezuela to urgently restore flights between the two countries, suspended since December 13, 2020.
“This disruption could not have come at a worse time. Venezuela had very limited international air connectivity even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The recently restarted flights to and from Panama became a lifesaver for both passengers and cargo.
Severing this link before the holiday travel season – and at a time when demand for pharmaceuticals needed to fight the pandemic is at its most sensitive point – will have dire consequences.
Travelers’ plans will be severely affected, as many will find themselves stranded, while essential cargo will not be able to be transported or will be massively delayed, ”said Peter Cerdá, IATA Regional Vice President for the Americas .
“We understand that governments are prioritizing the protection of their citizens against COVID-19. However, the aviation sector has been working with global organizations such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure that aviation can operate safely during the pandemic.
IATA has been cooperating with authorities throughout Latin America to ensure that borders can be reopened under secure conditions for air travel and is willing to help implement globally aligned measures that allow the reopening of the air corridor between Panama and Venezuela Cerda added.
The aviation industry is currently experiencing its greatest crisis as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As air service slowly recovers throughout the region, the imposition of any unnecessary restrictions on aviation during the crucial restart phase will delay the economic and social recovery of the countries and peoples of the region.