Competitive markets

ICC letter to FT spotlights pioneering work to reboost cross-border travel

  • 15 October 2020

A letter published in the Financial Times today, written by ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO, highlights the private sector’s ability to help governments restore cross border travel by advancing safe and effective pre-flight Covid-19 screening of travellers.

Mr Denton’s letter responds to an opinion article by the FT’s Michael Skapinker, published last week, which highlights a lack of global coordination by governments to introduce Covid-19 safety measures and pinpoints pre-travel testing as the only way to significantly restore air travel.

Addressing Mr Skapinker’s comparisons of the way disruptions are being approached in the current global context with how they were acted upon by previous generations (e.g.  smallpox and the 9/11 attacks), Mr Denton proffers an optimistic outlook saying that “the common standards needed to revive global aviation may not be entirely out of reach”.

Referring to the shift in global context since the International Sanitary Convention for Aerial Navigation was written in 1933, Mr Denton’s letter to the Financial Times points out that negotiators today no longer perceive a trade-off between enhanced public health measures and commercial performance.

“Today, those interests are wholly concordant: with airlines increasingly aware that demand for international travel will only rebound when travellers can be assured that flights are infection free,” Mr Denton writes.

Mr Denton also highlights advancements in Covid-19 testing that is emerging as the pre-travel preferred solution to on-arrival quarantine regimes.

Making the case for an interoperable testing and verification system as the best way to reboost cross border travel Mr Denton spotlights ICC’s pioneering role in development and roll out of such a system (ICC AOKpass) to help saves lives and livelihoods by enabling effective screening at minimal cost.

In a LinkedIn post published earlier today, Mr Denton wrote: “We’ve seen early results that indicate testing passengers before they fly is five times more effective in stopping the cross-border spread of Covid-19 than on-arrival quarantine regimes.”

“With pilots of #ICCAOKPass solution now underway on a range of airline routes globally, the International Chamber of Commerce and our partners are leading the way in assuring travellers that flights are coronavirus-free.”

Read John W.H. Denton’s AO letter on the Financial Times website.

Learn more about the ICC Aokpass