IATA update on COVID-19 and World Travel

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 8, 2021, © Leeham News: IATA’s half-year Global Media event finished today. The Director General Willy Walsh and SVP Operations Nick Careen briefed on travel trends, ramp-up bottlenecks, and IATA travel pass activities.

At present domestic travel is recovering fast, but international travel remains weak.

People want to travel

Consumer confidence is mounting, and it’s leisure travel that is growing. There is strong pent-up demand for travel to visit relatives and holiday travel. Business travel remains weak and the recovery ramp for it is hard to predict.

The gap between consumer confidence and actual travel is because of a jungle of restrictions on travel that are difficult to see through for the consumer, such as rules for pre-flight testing and different quarantine rules.

Countries where the virus is under control and where vaccination is successful have seen a fast rebound, for China and Russia to over Pre-COVID levels. The successful vaccination program in the US is the fuel for its recovery.

With the spread of variants, a recovery in Brasil is uncertain. It might back down again like for India and Japan.

The roadblocks to a further pickup in travel are the uncertainty of what the new variants will mean in terms of restrictions such as future lock-downs and restrictions. IATA can read such indicators by monitoring Google searches on COVID-19 and the activity on the “Skyscanner” air travel booking site.

The most problematic of the restrictions for the traveler are destination quarantines. To quarantine when returning home is not popular, but it poses less of a problem than destination quarantines, which often means week-long confinements in hotels.

Restrictions are political rather than logical

Willy Walsh was very critical of different countries’ un-selective travel restriction policies. The majority of world countries pose no risk of spreading COVID-19. The risk level of COVID spread from travelers is well below the spreading risk in the general population.

Yet selective measures are not applied in a systematic manner, and travel between countries with proven minimal risk is hampered. He showed the testing results of over a million arrivals to the UK from different countries. A few countries, on the red travel list, represented 10% of travel but 34% of positive COVID tests.

At the same time, events like the present European football championship are allowed.

We saw a packed Wembley football stadium yesterday amid an explosive uptake of Delta variant contagion in the UK. The restrictions on different activities are not rational meant Walsh, they are politically driven.

IATA Travel Pass

IATA is working hard to bring some clarity to the air traveler in the restriction chaos between countries. The IATA travel pass contains information about COVID regulations in departing and destination countries and the app is continuously expanded with new functions.

Integration of digital pass data is combined with vaccination proofs to gather all relevant travel information and verification data in one place.

The travel pass is now in test by 74 airlines on 170 routes. Qatar Airways is trailing an integrated Vaccine verification in the travel pass.

A race against time

It’s critical to get travel to rebound, and for this to happen now. Airlines are running out of cash as COVID relief programs are terminating and investor cash injections are drying up.

It’s presently a race of time, where cash burn is racing with increased travel that gives airlines a badly needed revenue stream.

68 Comments on “IATA update on COVID-19 and World Travel

  1. Glad to see another LNA article on this topic.
    Unfortunately, it’s very likely that the current “green shoots” of recovery in domestic/international travel may be marred by the upsurge in cases caused by the Delta variant. Even in countries/regions like the EU and US, which have a significant portion of the population vaccinated, there are still enough un-vaccinated persons (or persons not yet *fully* vaccinated) to fuel a raging increase in case numbers. This is now becoming evident in various EU countries, and it’s starting to manifest itself in the US.
    An interesting example of the “uneven” policy used to restrict travel:
    In the Netherlands, the Delta-fueled upsurge in daily confirmed cases (10-fold in just 10 days) is among young people (29 and younger), who are generally not getting very ill, and are not ending up in hospital…so there’s little extra burden on the healthcare system. However, the upsurge is enough to increase the daily number of new cases per 100,000 people into the “red zone”, which then automatically cuts off seamless travel.
    (In NL, 80% of adults have had a first shot, 49% are fully vaccinated, and vaccine hesitancy is just 13%).

    • From the Bloomberg link:
      “It could still take many months after such a flight before China’s air regulators wrap up their work and lift the flying ban — particularly if there is no break in the heightened trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.”

      Incidentally, much of the argumentation in the cited LNA article would be diluted if China simply decided to hold onto its current fleet of aircraft for more than the nominal 12-15 year lifetime…giving them enough time to get the C919 progam sufficiently ramped up before major replacement starts. After all, several “premium” carriers in the US/EU were unashamed to be flying 25-year-old airframes prior to CoViD.

      • “””if China simply decided to hold onto its current fleet of aircraft for more than the nominal 12-15 year lifetime”””

        Of course China will change its practise and keep planes longer.
        Nobody will buy 12 year old C919, which might burn more fuel than A320ceo. China might keep its C919 for the lifetime.
        So China doesn’t need Boeing.

  2. Ironic that the commercial aircart environmental impact is much reduced.

    Improvement for airlines and more impact to environment.

  3. You can follow journalist/author Alex Berenson on Twitter if you are interested in ideas outside the crushing Vaccines-Will-Saves-Us narrative.

    British doctor and author Malcolm Kendrick also has a blog worth following.
    As does Swedish M.D. Sebastian Rushworth.

    To put things in perspective, governments are implementing vaccine passports for an illness with an overall death rate somewhere between 0.2% and 0.3%. And most people are happy to submit.

    • Meaningless % . You cant go past the cold hard US excess deaths of 2020 of more than 500,000 ( and thats with other causes of death down) and of course hospitalizations of 2.2 millions.
      This is an aviation blog which its readers understand the safety standards would be in a red alert if there was 500 more deaths from commercial aviation in an entire year .

      • @DoU

        Oranges compared to apples

        Whatever conspiracy theories ascription of this bug to US and or Chinese laboratory skullduggery it does not bear comparison to the Max killings

        It is time to learn that viruses are very ancient, successful and numerous, it is up to the human to learn how to live with them, and not the other way round

        Whereas building crashhappy aircarts no one has to live with

        • Most respiratory viruses originate in China…maybe they can change their agricultural practices regarding birds, pigs, bats…

          • @DoU

            Maybe …or maybe not, either way there’s nothing you can do about it, you just have to learn to live with it/them

            Just as we do not have to live or die with your dud aircarts

            Just because recently sars have been fashionable does not mean there are not millions of others ready and waiting in China as in…ok …the US

      • @phoenix00

        Your ‘us’ is doing a lot of work here

        more accurately: ‘preventing some deaths in a few richer countries until a vaccine escape variant comes along, maybe’

        • And for only about 6 months, it seems. Boosters will be needed. It is un clear how well the body will tolerate repeated MRNA injections.

          A sterilizing nasal vaccine would be a real game changer. I know someone (I forget which company) is working on one.

  4. “The successful vaccination program in the US is the fuel for its recovery.”

    This vaccination program is not successful even by the Biden’s definition of success, 70% vaccinated by ‘Vaccine Independence Day’

    Vaccination has stalled, in the US, despite beer and lottery gimmicks: although CDC figures are vague and compromised

    But if nonetheless Victory is broadcast, this is all that is needed for success, and merely to follow in a long tradition of successful warfighting, as per Irak, Terrorism, Drugs etc

    One size fits all solutions as in vaccination or as in WWalsh’s demands for a synthetic globalised approach to the bug, have not worked will continue not to work

      • @Bryce

        Vaccination is a globalised problem, bugs that once were confined now travel along with their human hosts

        To vaccinate approx 50% (as best estimates in US for double vax) in one country is to unleash domestic travel, perhaps, and maybe for awhile, until…Delta or Omega puts a stop to even that

        Few are the countries in which domestic airtravel is of any significance

        Otherwise the Mex border problems will look like childsplay when the significance of international travel is finally addressed, as everyone pretty much has carefully avoided doing, on any long term solution basis

      • And whatever the variant, reluctant pockets are dying – over 95% of serious cases of COVID-19 in WA state now are of people not vaccinated.

        And some real densos – 10% of the people in one small town in WA contracted OVID-19 from one player in a charity poker tournament. Two people died.

        Clear simple communication of risk, prevention, and treatment is needed – tailored to some extent to the audience (Sikhs in Surrey BC are a pocket of reluctance for example), but government and media are not capable of that.

        They blather meaningless statistics and exaggerate – the Premier of BC admitted exaggerating from what the chief medical officer said in order to increase fear, Flipflopping Faker Faucci openly says he is exaggerating ‘community immunity’ vaccination threshold values to motivate people. Many people claim vaccines against SARS2 are ‘safe’ – many people call nonsense! on that as vaccines obviously have some risk, the question is risk versus benefit. (Guillain-Barre syndrome is a noteworthy risk with INFLUENZA vaccine for example, but even that is not simple – most people recover after a while, a few do not.)

  5. The crowds at Wembly Stadium in London have been mentioned , They were at 25% of capacity for the initial rounds , and then 50% for the knockout rounds , and 75% for semi and final games
    ‘Fans attending the games at Wembley will need to follow a number of strict entry requirements, including having a negative Covid-19 test or proof of full vaccination, which means two vaccine doses, 14 days before the fixture they are attending.

    Some claims of political interference seem to be of a superficial kind

    • A weak link in this story is the “negative Covid-19 test”: we’ve known now for months that PCR tests have a 20% false negative rate, and nothing has changed in the meantime.
      We also know that, in various countries, “proof of vaccination” is being faked, sold on the black market, improperly checked at entry points, etc. So that’s another weak link.
      But the biggest problem: I saw various experts saying that they were far less worried about the stadium itself, and far more worried about spectators’ behavior before and after the game — a reference to drinking and dining in crowded pubs/restaurants, as well as crowding onto public transport.

      An example: similar entry requirements apply to clubs and discos in The Netherlands. Despite this, a super-spreader event (with 195 infected, and counting) occurred last week at a small disco in a modest provincial city.

      More relevant to this forum is Thailand’s “Phuket Sandbox” experiment, which started this week. Let’s see if this manages to stay on the rails (which I sincerely hope), or whether it is derailed by cases slipping through the net.

      https://www.phuket-sandbox.com/

      • @Bryce

        Exactly – there has to be a return to ‘normal’ to be fed to the Press/Public few wish to contemplate another year or more of lockdown

        The Brit press was reporting that a free pass from all such restrictions had been granted to the Euros organising committee visits plus guests, some 300 people each game

        It is unlikely that football matches, as every other aspect of the ‘normal’, can be held without collateral damage, crowds drinking etc

        Blaming the ‘behaviour’ of the deplorables, while the élites get free passes, is not going to work – remember last time they tried that one?

        Plus as you remark, all vaccines, certificates and tests are faulty and very easily/commonly falsifiable in the case of the latter two

        The CDC has resolved to not keep data on vaccine break through illnesses observed in the US, and that testing those vaccinated is not required (as if they knew how)

        This is as primitive a magic thinking as can be imagined

        • Hahhaha..we have a live one here…I better stop there

          • @DoU

            You lot have the live virus which is killing you

            Whereas down here in the third world….

            There’s a saying about the last laugh

          • No ‘we’ dont..where I live there is barely any change to normal life now Overseas travel is limited however . There is no hot spots, spikes or surges or vaccine passports to go to large events.

          • @DoU

            Where you live has suffered badly enough, now you experience fleeting calm before the second (and third etc) storm

            Not to mention supply chain disruption and the parallel harm to all adjacent economies and industries – the new normal is nothing like the old, and will get worser

            No travel is the least of your worries

          • @ Duke
            It’s not very considerate to “brag” about the relatively relaxed epidemiological situation in the US/Europe when the situation is currently so desperate in other countries, such as Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil”: this site has readers in many countries.

            Moreover, the current relative calm that is being experienced in the US and Europe is fragile, and can be turned on its head relatively quickly, particularly when fall/winter comes in the northern hemisphere. We already have much talk of waning immunity, boosters, more dangerous variants, etc., and the aviation sector is still in a highly precarious situation. We’re still very much in a glass house.

          • @Bryce

            No worries – it’s the usual summer hols for the bug

            – but already the bug graphs and charts are snouting upwards in the US and those not too busy defending the corporate status quo (two a penny I grant you) are already starting to murmur about a third or is now a fourth wave come Xmas, with as many dead as last

            Which’ll add to the pain – reports are that current prices for 40′ containers ex China are already at $10,000, tripled over a year and the merry Xmas rush has’nt yet started

            https://retail.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/industry/cost-to-ship-a-boxload-of-goods-to-us-from-china-nears-10000/84260136

            Wholesalers are hoarding stock: Lumber prices quadrupled, Cars through the roof….

            https://www.wsj.com/articles/supermarkets-are-stockpiling-inventory-as-food-costs-rise-11625572980

            It’s going to be a bumpy ride – they say about the Max as about all North America

  6. Spoiler Alert – Seriously off topic, not about Vaccination, but about Aviation ! – BA ‘s chances of building aircarts with any success

    https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/how-intel-financialized-and-lost-leadership-in-semiconductor-fabrication

    The article discusses the parallel to Boeing downward spiral – and addresses the problem of ability to manufacture, along with the often quoted ‘financialistion’ of management and excessive share buy backs

    The key point, in media res, is that the lack of engineering ability and the corresponding accentuation of (so called ) financial (so called) ability is the permanent loss of ‘organizational integration’, of the industrial and creative mind set and culture that commits a company to invention and product improvement, to it’s workforce, and to it’s country

    Few would argue that BA is the example of successful ‘organizational integration’, rather the opposite

    As for Chairman CAL- all that can be said about him is that at least Intel’s screw ups did not kill people

    « Innovation requires a social condition we call financial commitment to sustain technological transformation and market access until the generation of a higher-quality, lower-cost product can result in financial returns.[19] The foundation of financial commitment is retained earnings. In the case of Intel, as shown in Table 1 above, in recent years the company has made substantial allocations to P&E and R&D, even as it has distributed almost all its profits to shareholders.[20] But Intel has been able to tap other cash flows to make, simultaneously, large-scale productive investments and shareholder payouts. For the decade, 2011-2020, these other cash flows included depreciation charges of $87b., long-term debt issues of $45b., and stock sales (mainly to employees in stock-based compensation plans) of $12b.

    Given the availability of these sources of funds, the vast sums that Intel has wasted on buybacks have not thus farimposed a cash constraint on its investments in semiconductor fabrication. Rather, it has been a deficiency in organizational learning—the essence of the innovation process—that has hampered Intel’s implementation of process technology. The generation of high levels of productivity from P&E and R&D expenditures requires, as a second social condition of innovative enterprise, organizational integration, working in combination with financial commitment. Organizational integration mobilizes the skills and efforts of large numbers of people in a hierarchical and functional division of labor into the collective and cumulative learning processes required to transform technologies to generate a higher-quality product and, then, access markets to attain economies of scale.

    The root of Intel’s failure in organizational integration lies in the financialized character of a third social condition of innovative enterprise, strategic control. Accepting stock yield as the measure of enterprise performance, in recent years Intel’s senior executives who exercise strategic control have lacked both the incentive and, increasingly we would argue, the ability, to implement innovative investment strategies through organizational integration. »

    • Routine matter, FAA does sort of thing every Friday , Airbus included. It’s part of the aviation safety system…..yawn

      • The expected retort.
        Can you find any such “routine matter” relating to Airbus on FlightGlobal or Reuters this week?

        • @Bryce

          This one is like that [Edited as violation of Reader Comment Rules], always saying there’s no problem all is fine, just drink your kool aid, [Edited as violation of Reader Comment Rules].

          • @Bryce

            You’re right Scott I should have written in corporate

            Here goes: There’s always someone two a penny willing to mount a blanket defence of corporate interests and dismiss any expression of concern with a similar pretence of boredom

          • Nothing ever changes.

            The progress on the CAAC front is interesting. Also in line with what Calhoun has been saying, recertification in the latter half of 2021. May be a bit longer, we’ll have to see.

          • @Bryce

            What did I say – two a penny

          • @ Rob
            I recall that you told us back in December that re-cert in China was imminent because some FAA/BA officials had been seen at a hotel near CAAC headquarters…that turned out to be an optimistic prediction 😉

            When it comes to re-cert in China, seeing is believing 😉

            On the subject of nothing ever changing: BA is still in an ungodly mess. [Edited]

          • “””The progress on the CAAC front is interesting”””

            There is no progress. ET302 final report is not out yet, auto throttle problems not included and not touched by the FAA.
            When a 777X system is checked closer, there are examples that regulators will not let it go through. Still the pain of Boeing self-certs and the MAX is full of them, many still never checked. CAAC must know this too.

            I found this 777X story interesting, even it’s a year old:
            “As part of an investigation by the FAA into the fatal crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, emails were released that showed that a problematic supplier of parts for the 737 MAX flight simulators was still being used for 777X simulators, on an even more aggressive schedule. Boeing stated that the 777X does not have an equivalent of MCAS that is installed on the 737 MAX.”
            Now the thing is called CCS, much more complicated than the simple MCAS. For sure the next years won’t be boring with these kind of Boeing news.

          • It’s pointless to argue here, but for the record, I said that I expected the ET302 final report by the second anniversary, based on the Ethiopian statements to that effec.t. And CAAC recertification within 3 to 6 months of that event.

            In reality, still no ET302 report 4 months after the anniversary, but some movement by CAAC. So we will see what happens. I think CAAC may have been waiting for a possible bombshell on the auto-throttle, but it has not materialized.

            There are reports that the ET302 report is hung up on the auto-throttle issue and the pilot roles, with which there is strong disagreement by NTSB and FAA. It might be issued with an addendum from the US authorities.

          • @Rob

            ‘It is pointless to argue here…’ you say

            Then why do you continue do so – all you do is argue and provoke arguments – although I’ll agree what you say is pointless

            You issue vague statements of opinion as constant bland muzak- all is well, and all will be soon better, in the very best of all possible corporate worlds

            ‘both in terms of safety history…BA and Airbus have broadly similar records’

            This is incorrect – you have omitted the Max crashes, to say the least

        • Yes we can find Airbus safety alerts issued by FAA , like I said every week.
          I have mentioned this many many times, and you know it. These are the latest ones
          ‘Airbus SAS Model A330-200, A330-300, A340-200, A340-300, A340-500, and A340-600 series airplanes. This AD was prompted by reports that, for certain lower deck mobile crew rest (LDMCR) units, theconnection of a certain halon outlet tube to the outlet of a certain fire extinguisher bottle may be incorrect.’
          and
          ‘The NPRM was prompted by reports of cracks in MLG leg components, and a determination that additional actions (including inspections, modifications, and out-of-roundness checks) are needed to address the unsafe condition’..

          And heres one you missed for 737 max…
          ‘The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain The Boeing Company Model 737-8 and 737-9 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a report that during refueling of the right main tank, if there is a failure of the automatic shutoff system, the refueling panel does not provide the required indication that the automatic shutoff has failed…..’
          Missing something like this juicy one for the Max might get you a reprimand from your ‘supervisors’

          • Yes, both in terms of safety history and AD’s, service bulletins, etc, Boeing and Airbus have broadly similar records.

            The EASA Safety Publications Tool web site is a good source of this material, for all makes and models of aircraft. FAA has a similar site.
            There are frequent publications, that is the basis of aviation safety.

          • @ Duke,
            Nah, I don’t think that a failed indication regarding refueling of the right main tank is as “juicy” as cracks in the aft pressure bulkhead — which, as was shown by JAL123, can lead to explosive decompression and hull loss. It seems that the mainstream aviation press also doesn’t think so, since you weren’t able to provide a corresponding link to any such source.

            Perhaps you should write to the various editors at the major aviation news outlets and ask them why they’re “picking on” BA in this regard? I suspect that the answer may have something to do with a very sub-standard recent safety and quality record, which they feel needs broader public/industry attention.

            On the other hand, investor sites such as Seeking Alpha, Motley Fool, etc., are just trying to inform investors about the sub-optimal finances, outlook and governance that they believe to be material investment issues. But you could also write to them, just to confirm this?

          • Look again, Duke: your link isn’t from a mainstream aviation news site, is it?
            As galling as you may find it, the recent regular aviation press is full of BA failings…and devoid of AB ones.

          • Duke is trying to point out that the disparity in coverage of Boeing and Airbus is not reflective of a disparity in the actual data. It’s the difference between relying on selective media coverage for understanding, and investigating the data for yourself. Which has been the driver for most disagreements here. And can be confirmed by an assessment of actual events.

          • I’m quite aware of what Duke is trying to point out…which is why my original comment specifically referred to a PR headache rather than a technical headache.
            BA has flushed its reputation to such an extent that the aviation press will gladly illuminate any new failing that surfaces. An incentive for BA to start getting its act together…if such a thing is possible.

          • @Rob

            As usual you ignore the facts

            To state that AB BA safety records are similar is to ignore the elephant in the cockpit – the Max crashes

            You have heard of these, of the painful process of re certification, of the 20B$ price tag often associated, of the turmoil in Congress and in the Press, of the various lawsuits and Federal investigations

            Of the world wide impact of such – and of pronounced reluctance to re cert in many crucial to BA survival markets

            To my knowledge nothing that can compare in scale of damage inflicted has been recorded vis à vis AB, even if – of course, – AB has had safety issues and crashes

            As usual in your country it’s not so much the dramatic failure of engineering or manufacture process, it’s the feebly mismanaged cynical and equally disastrous failed attempts at cover up

            In which, two a penny, you persist

          • The facts speak for themselves on this, as can be found in any statistical analysis of aviation safety or maintenance records. Boeing and Airbus are broadly similar. That is the simple truth.

            The MAX record will improve, as the aircraft is currently flying about 25,000 hours per month, and that will only grow with time. It had less than a million hours when the accidents occurred, so its accident rate per million hours is dropping rapidly as hours accumulate.

            I get that you are more interested in the negative media coverage, which Bryce mentioned as being key, and of which there is no shortage. I would only point out that others are more interested in the facts and the truth. That is what’s left standing, in the end, and is what determines the outcome. As we see in the broadly successful return of the MAX.

          • What “successful return of the MAX” is being referred to here?
            Those “more interested in the facts and the truth” would not have so easily/conveniently forgotten the following:
            (1) The MAX is still grounded in most of Asia-Pacific — including the world’s largest aviation growth markets and more than a third of the world’s human population.
            (2) Deliveries were halted for weeks after an embarrassing electrical grounding issue was discovered by accident (not by QC). The problem resulted from a shoddy manufacturing change, which hadn’t been (properly) vetted. Apart from the negative PR (again), the US Congress announced an investigation (again) into manufacturing processes at BA.
            (3) MAX sales made since the FAA un-grounding have been at unsustainable discounts — we know this from SEC filings.
            (4) The FAA recently issued an AD pertaining to a “latent failure” which it fears exists in the MAX’s flight management software.

            Points (2) and (4) are particularly striking in view of the often-touted mantra that the MAX is “the most scrutinized plane in history”.

            Furthermore, if you want the aviation press to stop concentrating on negative news about BA, perhaps you should tell BA to stop giving us such a rich supply of negative news in the first place…?

  7. With dark clouds still hanging over a resumption in longhaul travel, will the future hold more narrowbody longhaul flights?

    SAS has announced plans to fly Copenhagen-Boston (8h 15m) in the fall using an A321LR. It has pointed out that various destinations in Canada and India are also within reach of the plane.
    It thus joins other carriers such as Aer Lingus, Azores, TAP and JetBlue who are / will be deploying this plane on transatlantic flights.

    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sas-increases-flights-from-scandinavia-to-the-united-states-301328592.html

    • North Atlantic can be a highly seasonal collection of routes , more so than most. The single aisle can be complementary to the double aisle when the traffic is much lower and reducing schedules isnt enough.

    • @Bryce

      Singapore may have taken a good decision – it would be very hard to argue or to tell

      Even the downunder crowd are losing some of their macho go in hard language and talking, especially Scotty from Marketing as affectionately he’s called, about ‘opening up’ you just got to live with it etc etc

      Even what’s his name from Qantas seems to have shut up about vaccines being the miracle solution

      From the start of this bug even wise and experienced people predicted that this virus would play out just as all previous have done – only very discreetly as the élites and gvmts etc were pedaling the other way fast upstream

      (Cut to the NZ prison solution)

      You can shout, you can struggle, you can dose with this or that, you can throw all the money in Wall Street at it or all the tea in China too, but after a while you’ll figure out who’s who, and learn how to live with it

      Probably means (something like, simile alert) living more like an African: more actively, not getting so fat, not eating such poor food, not taking so many drugs and so on and so on

      That will be very hard to get the USEU to do

      • Down under crowd havent changed at all- it was all wishful thinking- as Sydney is now getting even more strict ‘lockdowns’ as the days pass – while the surrounding states stick with elimination and its over quickly.

        • @DoU

          You should pay closer attention to what is going on in the world

          Your statements re Aus/NZ are in correct – both are groping towards opening up – so far their approach has been so hard hat kill bug that the backpedaling has to be softly softly : like the WfH fad, isolation seems great until it turns into a prison

          The story lines are confused, as in your country, because there is a mishamash of State and Federal authorities, and everyone is getting in their 2cents

          But, Finally, it has dawned that eradication is impossible : lockdown will work once or twice then not– just as in your country, although you will undoubtedly have a worse time of it than the downunder

          Either the ‘authorities’ open up the country, else the people will do it de facto : you are especially incorrect about the no travel, the Aus hate it, given that 30% of the pop is first generation immigrant they have, maybe, good reason to dislike cut off more than First Fleeters

          https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-57224635

          https://nsw.liberal.org.au/Shared-Content/News/2021/National-Cabinet-Statement-Friday-9-July-2021

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/300354397/covid19-we-need-a-plan-to-open-fortress-nz

          Scotty from Marketing is mismanaging opening – but mismanaging governments are two a penny, you should know that

      • Australia is more ‘the prison’ as its citizens require permission to leave, has to be strong circumstances to be allowed. NZ hasnt put in such harsh measures , but in both countries the quarantine hotel numbers is the limiting factor to people getting back when they want. Many many visitors on temporary visas have welcomed the time extensions to stay as they DONT WANT TO LEAVE …

        • Times have changed in Australia. The delta variant has crept in and is proliferating, lockdowns and internal border restrictions are back, there’s a low degree of vaccination and high vaccine hesitancy. Compared to the present situation in the US/EU, the Aussie situation is a polar opposite of what it was.

  8. The (English) table in this (Dutch) link gives a nice overview of the surprising top-10 busiest airports in Europe on July 7.
    Heathrow is at position 11 — a reflection of the fact that the UK is currently on a red list for various EU countries, due to Delta variant concerns.
    Traffic at the busiest airport (Amsterdam) was still 41% below 2019 levels.

    https://luchtvaartnieuws.nl/nieuws/categorie/3/airports/schiphol-weer-drukste-luchthaven-van-europa-door-herstel-klm-en-transavia

  9. I think sitting in an aluminum tube with 200-300 other people, some of whom may have the delta virus, is umm, unappetizing. Some cases in Oz got it from a 15 second exposure.

    Time will tell if this is a problem or not.

    • Its already proven that transmission has occurred in long haul flights
      – as well as local flights and public transport- from genome sequencing for individual cases

  10. Vaccines are a great help…but they’re not a silver bullet!

    Here’s a very clear graphical representation of what the Delta variant can do.
    This chart pertains to The Netherlands, which has a higher degree of vaccination than the US (81% first shot, 50% fully vaccinated, 97% of over-70s fully vaccinated, 13% vaccine hesitancy, 1.5 million shots per week for a population of 17 million).
    The huge spike starting on July 1 corresponds to the re-opening of discos at the end of June — despite requiring proof of vaccination / negative test result to gain entry. The main numbers are among people in the age range 20-29, but other age groups are now also getting infected. As yet, hospital cases aren’t increasing…however, virologists are tense because they point out that vaccines are less effective against the delta variant, and many of the older segments of the population were vaccinated 6 months ago and thus have a waning antibody response.

    https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSelection=true&time=2020-03-01..latest&pickerSort=desc&pickerMetric=new_cases_smoothed_per_million&Metric=Confirmed+cases&Interval=7-day+rolling+average&Relative+to+Population=true&Align+outbreaks=false&country=~NLD

    With this type of uncertainty still around, it’s very doubtful that international longhaul will be recovering any time soon.

    • @Bryce

      Just so

      I have seen reports that there is an even deadlier plusplus variant of the delta variant propagating pretty much everywhere….

      https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/delta-plus-variant-of-sars-cov-2-how-does-it-compare-with-the-delta-variant

      Vaccines are not the answer that PRPerson from Qantas – given already known inherent deficiences of vx as a one stop solution (collateral damage, transmission failure), plus the at least in USEU what looks definitive take up failure to reach much more than 60 or 70%

      So far, anyway, Vx are of increasing expense and decreasing effectiveness

      Pfizer for one have spelt this out, promising price increases to c.200$ a pop, for 6mnth renewable stab, perhaps they can get it to 3mnth why not, plus the logistics costs

      I’ve not seen any assessment of logistic costs per dose, either in or ex US, but they presumably are close to double ticker price, let Corporate do the math, & this sounds like a very large globalised sum of money at 8B plus pop, besides unaffordable to 9/10ths

      https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/pfizer-eyes-higher-covid-19-vaccine-prices-after-pandemic-exec-analyst

      Hence hardhat chat ‘we can open’ already practiced in the US, now coming to a screen near you in EU and elsewhere, Aus, Brit….

      Perhaps Singapore can manage such an opening : it appears they are not only prudent cautious but well aware of their limitations (immigrant dorm infection failure) despite which they are going ahead

      But, as discussed before, people were saying at the goget – human must learn to live with vx, not other way round – in places which long have practiced such (Africa) death and sick rates are way below USEU, several orders of magnitude below

      Vx excape would appear to be inevitable – when that happens, then what- More magic thinking ? Cook up a new improved- or Take two & Turnaround

      Hubris old Greek tragedy style – how the Fool stage managed his death

      • Interesting recently-published data from fieldwork in Israel:
        “Pfizer vaccine protection against infection declines to 64% in Israel”

        Although protection against serious illness is still 93% (good news), the strong reduction in protection against infection is bad news for the travel and hospitality industry. Moreover, it creates a larger pool of susceptible subjects in which new variants have a greater statistical change of evolving.

        https://www.foxnews.com/us/israel-pfizer-vaccine-declined-illness

        https://edition.cnn.com/2021/07/09/health/delta-variant-trends-israel-uk/index.html

        Many epidemiologists now say that the world is going to be stuck with the current crisis (in one form or another) for another 2-3 years, after which the virus will just have to be accepted as endemic. Will longhaul aviation (and the cruise industry) survive such a scenario?

        • @Bryce

          You took the words out of my mouth – I was going to highlight the Israel facts, and add in a morsel about the low rate of vx in Palestinians

          Here too learn to live with it will soon gain the upper hand over the killit crowd

          For this to happen many accepted indulgent ‘First World’ habits will have to change, one of which being drop of the hat (and heavily subsidised) airtravel

        • @Bryce

          Sydney infections and hospitalisations soar as delta deals defeat to city wide lockdown

          The headlines scream – but at last Aus reaches the turning point – go in hard go in quick is unraveling by the hour, and the killit mentality so dominated ‘health expert’ ideology that they have vx only a tiny, less than 10% of their pop

          The advantage of a very obvious screw up front is that one learns a certain amount of humility, well not in the case of the US I agree

          otherwise – to see plans at first apparently successful, then not, makes it a lot more difficult to cry defeat and re form

  11. Much talk in media that has to be sorted through – very few people are capable of that, plus much slipperiness in government.

    For example, the government of Canada is blathering about eliminating quarantine for incoming travellers – perhaps initially only for residents of Canada, omitting that it still has a requirement for recent test results which are awkward.

    (A problem with vaccine ‘passports’ and such is that individuals can still become ill with COVID-19. Fear mongers jump on that and politicians pander to them. Never mind that the few vaccinated persons who do become ill will only be mildly ill thus shed far less virus that substantially ill persons thus not be worthy of concern for transmission.)

    And PM ‘jefe’ Trudeau Jr. is playing xenophobe, somehow a relatively few people from a country with a higher vaccination rate is a bigger threat to people in Canada than themselves collectively.

    Xenophobia from federal and provincial government so bad that BC rejected an offer from the fire department of landlocked Point Roberts WA to vaccinate residents of Canada with spare vaccine. (Logically starting with US citizens living in Canada – there are many – and Canadians who own property in the Point.)

    With the Premier of BC fomenting Alaska to push to rescind the US ban on service between US ports with furrin-built ships. That really hurt Alaska as tourism is a big source of income for it. The Premier was arrogant in denial of the possibility. Alaska succeeded in getting a temporary lifting of the ban, and immediately proceeded to push for permanent. The Premier was left on the dock: https://www.timescolonist.com/adrian-raeside-cartoon-cruise-ships-1.24322569 😉

    And concerns about various economic factors including inflation caused by government.

    It’s politics, Scott.

    • And uncertainty of vaccine technology – how much protection against variants of SARS2 virus do present vaccines provide, how quickly can vaccines be adjusted?

      mRNA technology may be quick, production of vaccines against SARS2 is probably much faster than growing INFLUENZA vaccine in eggs.

      Variants are not simple, some are more easily transmitted, some cause stronger illness, many are much weaker.

      Probability of mutation is a question, some experts point out that the perennial killer INFUENZA has a simpler structure that is more likely to result in variants, thus experience with it does not necessarily translate to SARS2.

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