Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said EU island states such as Cyprus heavily depend on air traffic, therefore it was imperative to come up with specific solutions to restore the public’s trust in the aviation industry.
Speaking after a joint teleconference among EU transport ministers held on Thursday, Karousos welcomed the initiative of the EU Council’s German presidency to draw up a transport emergency plan to address similar future scenarios such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We cannot have a functioning aviation industry without passengers and for this reason we must take all necessary measures to restore the confidence of the public,” he said.
Karousos also stressed that the effort should not be focused solely on cargo flights but also on commercial flights, adding that nine months have already passed since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe and there is still no shared approach to dealing with the consequences of the pandemic.
“We are calling on the European Commission to review the state aid framework for air transport in order to address current and future crises, while at the same time bridging existing gaps and offering equal opportunities for all EU member states.”
He also suggested that in order to deal with the effects of the pandemic, the EU should make use of all available technologies, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, to obtain data and facilitate advanced analytics and verifications.
“A solution for EU member states could be to come up with a set of common entry requirements based on previously agreed epidemiological criteria,” Karousos said.
“We also propose the creation of a pan-European digital passenger tracking platform and the development of laboratory tests able to provide quick test results before the passengers’ departure.”