Airlines ask Spanish Government again to agree to use of antigen tests

2020/11/23 13:16:52 Written by Canarian Weekly Business

The Air Lines Association (ALA), an organization that accounts for 85% of air traffic in Spain, has called on the Government to review the obligation that started today for all passengers to present a negative PCR test result on arrival at Spanish airports from ‘risk’ countries, and requests that antigen tests also be included as valid evidence.

The ALA says that in their opinion the ruling with PCR tests is having a negative effect on air travel, and there is an opportunity to help recovery by allowing the antigen tests "due to their speed and ease", and that they would also allow the lifting of restrictions that today they are still in force in some countries, as well as quarantines in other countries.

“In the run-up to Christmas, a time of family reunions and trips to Europe to celebrate it in a special way, we need solutions that allow people to continue travelling safely and smoothly," said the president of the ALA, Javier Gándara.

He said that, the economic cost of carrying out a PCR test could be a barrier for many tourists who want to reach the country. Thus, by requiring the test of all travellers from risk countries without distinction of age, this means that, children under 6 years old are obliged to undergo a PCR test to enter the country, which could be a major obstacle for many families.

For this reason, the ALA has joined the groups representing the Spanish tourism industry who are demanding antigen tests, "as a quick and affordable option," as a valid diagnostic test to boost mobility across borders and reactivate tourism," which after all is a major economic sector for Spain.”

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According to the latest update from the Centre for the Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies regarding the situation of Covid-19 in Spain, since May 11th, only about 0.3% of diagnosed Covid-19 cases have been imported through travel.

“This data, which collects the imported cases through different means of transport, not only planes, shows that the number of imported cases is minimal, and in contrast with the cost of PCR tests, will discourage potential travellers”, explains the president of the ALA.

The association warns that this winter season is complicated since there could be a collapse of between 70% and 80% of passengers (compared to the same period in 2019).

"If there is any possibility of saving the winter season with a safe option, which has the backing of the European Commission, and contributes to recovering consumer confidence to fly, we cannot fail to implement it," concluded Gándara.


Photo: president of the ALA, Javier Gándara.