The survey was conducted ahead of the Future Aviation Forum, a global aviation summit, which will be held in Riyadh from 9 to 11 May. Respondents from the USA, Great Britain, Italy and the countries of the Persian Gulf took part in the study — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
While the results differ from country to country, the study shows that there is confusion everywhere about the patchwork of current air travel health requirements. About a third of people in every country surveyed say a lack of clarity about medical requirements prevented them from flying last year and will prevent them from flying in 2022.
“There is a clear need for countries to work together to harmonize passenger health requirements. In order for the global aviation sector to fully and quickly recover, it is essential that we clarify current requirements and build confidence in the sector's ability to cope with future public health crises. the Minister of Transport and Logistics of Saudi Arabia, Saleh bin Nasser Al Jasser, expressed the general opinion.
The survey showed that opinions were divided on whether countries worked together to develop criteria for safe travel during a pandemic. Most people in the Gulf countries — 73% and Italy — 59% believe they did, while most people in the US — 56% and UK — 70% think there was no unified position.
As to whether the aviation sector is ready for another public health crisis, only the majority of Gulf residents — 64% — confident that this is the case, while respondents in other countries surveyed were divided. More than a third of respondents in the UK and a quarter in the US and Italy say airports and airlines are unprepared for the next public health crisis.
The upcoming aviation forum will bring together government and business sector leaders, international decision makers and regulators. More than 120 speakers will take part in it, and more than 2,000 participants and representatives from all continents are expected to attend. Delegates are invited to attend 40 sessions focused on three main thematic areas: passenger service, sustainability and business recovery from COVID-19.