COVID-19: European coordination continues at ECAC

8 and 26 April 2021 - Two European coordination meetings were hosted by ECAC in April for Directors General of ECAC Member States, DG MOVE, EASA and EUROCONTROL to discuss developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on aviation.

The participants heard the latest updates on the traffic situation, noting some marginal improvements although figures were still approximately 65% down compared to the same period in 2019. They noted that other regions, in particular the markets in the United States and China, were doing much better due to their domestic traffic. Improving traffic scenarios for the summer depended heavily on the lifting of restrictions and on providing certainty to the industry and passengers for the summer season. A key focus of the discussions was on the need for a common approach to work towards an orderly return to safe travel, particularly in the summer period.

Participants shared information on the roll-out of their national vaccination programmes, and heard about the EU initiative for a Digital Green Certificate to facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is expected to be in place for the summer season.

On economic matters, ECAC presented a summary analysis of the survey on economic and financial relief measures, and a revised version of the Key elements on economic matters for supporting the aviation sector document.

Guest speakers from ACI EUROPE and IATA joined the meeting on 26 April. They offered an update on the challenges faced by the industry, their needs, and initiatives, and welcomed the opportunity to engage in discussions with the Directors General.