Alan Borg, Malta International Airport’s CEO, has cautioned that optimistic predictions about the beginning of recovery for the aviation industry in summer 2021 are reliant on a number of measures, potentially including a vaccine certificate system.
Taking centre stage, he says, should be “measures aimed at boosting consumer confidence”.
Mr Borg continues, “a faster vaccine rollout should be complemented by the establishment of a much-needed uniform testing regimes and travel requirements at a European level.”
He warned of the “catastrophic” consequences of another summer lost on the industry. Mr Borg made the announcements as part of MIA’s annual traffic report for 2020, which revealed the Airport experienced a 76 per cent drop in passenger traffic in 2020. As reported by BusinessNow.mt, this is the lowest volume of passenger traffic to be reported at the airport since 2002.
Addressing recent calls for a “common digital European Covid-19 vaccination certificate”, Mr Borg welcomed the Air Travel Association’s recent appeal to key EU policymakers to agree on the creation of said certificate.
He said that the measure would constitute a huge stride towards the safe reopening of borders without the need for testing and quarantines.
The time before the imposition of a vaccine passport system is critical, he said, and should be used to put in place the technology required to scan such certificates to make entry into the country as smooth as possible.
Looking to the future, Mr Borg conceded that Q1 2021 is likely to continue the challenges of 2020 but said that MIA “remains committed to work actively towards the preservation of the company’s liquidity through any cost-cutting measures deemed necessary.”
While MIA generally publishes a forecast for the year ahead, given the fluidity of the current situation and limited visibility of the way ahead, the Company “does not have sufficient data to provide the market with reliable guidance at this time”.