ALTA asks the Colombian government to reconsider restriction of international flights

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ALTA asks the Colombian government to reconsider restriction of international flights
José Ricardo Botelho, ALTA
Fri May 22, 2020

The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association asks to take into account the socioeconomic risk posed by the suspension of international air transport and the closure of borders until August 31

The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) calls on the Colombian authorities to consider the socio-economic risk of extending the restriction on international air transport and the closure of borders until August 31, 2020.
We share the text of the statement sent to the media below:
We reiterate that from ALTA we accompany the national government in this extremely complex moment in which the number one priority is and will be to protect the health and safety of its citizens. We recognize the initiatives of the national government in order to fulfill this mission and we share this responsibility and concern to protect passengers, collaborators and citizens not only in Colombia but in all corners of the region.
Along the same lines, we understand and respect the principle of sovereignty that governs each government and the great challenge of ensuring the best use of available resources to make viable the subsistence of different sectors of relevance to the country. However, we must express that the measure to extend mobility restrictions until the end of August raises deep concern about the need to keep an essential service for the population viable.
The national government has implemented measures to support the travel and tourism industry, but the inability to fly, not generating income and keeping intact more than 50% of fixed costs makes the viability of any company unsustainable. This measure directly and profoundly affects the entire value chain of the aviation industry that operates in the country and in the region, domestic and international airlines, airports, business, commerce, tourism and related sectors. Millions of jobs are at risk, as is Colombia's connectivity, which is vital for the country's economic and social well-being. In figures, nearly 33 thousand direct aviation jobs are at risk in the country * and, if we consider that the travel and tourism value chain generates about 1.2 million jobs, this number rises.
Colombia has established itself as the best connected country in Latin America in terms of intraregional international connectivity. It is a fundamental passenger and cargo hub for the operation of multiple economic sectors in Colombia and the region.
We are convinced that the travel and tourism industry will be a great engine for the recovery of the economy. For this reason, under the regional and global coordination of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), all actors in the aviation sector are committed to developing and implementing a responsible, harmonized, safe, efficient and aligned reactivation plan that allows the reestablishment of activities. commercial and a fundamental service under the strictest health and safety standards and requirements stipulated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and local and regional health authorities.
Colombia needs air transportation for the communication, transportation and operation of numerous economic activities. Reactivation in a safe way will be essential to protect millions of jobs that are at risk every day and activities vital to the well-being of the country. ALTA reiterates its appreciation to the government for its permanent availability for timely and articulated dialogue and invites to consider a timely and harmonized revival plan for the industry.


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