The global health crisis is still rocking the commercial aviation industry. Notably, several travel restrictions remain in place around the world. As governments try to implement effective solutions for air travel in the current climate, Lufthansa’s senior director of product management for ground and digital services, Bjoern Becker, told Simple Flying that authorities could turn to immunity documentation following the rollout of a vaccine to tackle the pandemic.
Opening up travel
During an interview with Simple Flying, Becker expressed that both testing certificates and vaccine confirmations would be the focus when it comes to officials allowing travel over the next few years. At first, it starts with testing. For instance, China and Singapore require specific tests to allow entrance. However, following the rollout of the vaccine next year immunity documentation will also eventually play a part.
“Many, many governments are looking into this, currently. And then, as soon as we have more and more people who are immune because of the vaccine or because they have already been ill, this whole immunity passport will come up. But as you know, there’s also a society discussion going on and a political discussion going on, whether this immunity will be used or immunity information will be used for these kinds of services. I’m not quite sure where this goes, but I’m pretty sure that we will see fully-tested flights and/or the people on the flight must be either tested or immune,” Becker told Simple Flying.
“Those are the two things. And the more people that are immune, for whatever reason, the more people we will see on flights that are immune, and we will have to check that. I’m pretty sure that will come.”
A proactive approach
Altogether, for now, Lufthansa believes that testing is one of the key elements to unlock travel again until the arrival of a vaccine. Therefore, the carrier is concentrating on delivering these solutions for its passengers.
For example, China now requires PCR and IgM antibody tests for those arriving. Subsequently, Lufthansa has been putting solutions in place for its customers.
An ever-changing situation
For now, testing is the primary focus. Ultimately, aviation groups are continuing to push for this process as an alternative to quarantines or travel bans. However, naturally, if there is a successful introduction of a vaccine across the globe, certification for this would also be an effective measure.
There has been significant progress in vaccine trials this month. Several government bodies are estimating that there will be initial phases of a rollout by early next year. After more members of the public receive the vaccine, authorities would be more confident in opening up travel.
What are your thoughts about potential immunity passports in the future? Do you think this feature would be a good move for the aviation industry? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.