The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA), Airports Council International Latin America and the Caribbean (ACI-LAC) and the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), jointly said the aviation workers are just as central to the disease prevention as the health workers.
Given their direct contacts with air travellers, airlines and regional bodies have urged governments to treat aviation employees as essential workers as the COVID-19 vaccination campaign kicks off in different parts of the world.
The industry’s call on governments aligns with the World Health Organisation’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunisation Proposed Roadmap for Prioritising Uses of COVID-19 Vaccines.
IATA’s recent 76th Annual General Meeting (AGM) also unanimously adopted a resolution in which its members asked governments to ensure that aviation staffers are prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination, once safe and effective treatments become available and health care workers and vulnerable groups have been protected.
The AGM also reinforced the vital role of air transport in facilitating the global response to the pandemic, including the timely distribution of medicines, testing kits, protective equipment and eventually vaccines around the world.