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Saturday 19 February 2022

Suddenly everyone wants to fly

The sales of airline tickets around the world have soared in recent weeks as more countries open up following the the Covid-19 epidemic.

Sales of international tickets jumped to 11% above 2019 levels between January 25-February 8 2022, the fastest rise for any two-week period since the pandemic started, Travel Mole reported.

"Momentum toward normalising traffic is growing," said International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general Willie Walsh.

"Vaccinated travellers have the potential to travel much more extensively with fewer hassles than even a few weeks ago. This is giving growing numbers of travellers the confidence to buy tickets.

"Now we need to further accelerate the removal of travel restrictions. While recent progress is impressive, the world remains far from 2019 levels of connectivity."

IATA says 18 markets are open to vaccinated travellers without quarantine or prior testing, while 28 markets are open to vaccinated travellers without quarantine but with testing or other restrictions.

The airline trade group called for "a stop to the singling out of the travelling population for special measures".

It says it wants the removal of all travel curbs - including quarantine and testing for fully vaccinated passengers, which seems a little extreme.

It also advocates for quarantine-free travel for the unvaccinated with a negative test result. Which many people would disagree with.

IATA has 290 airline members in 120 nations but in addition to setting technical standards for airlines, it has also organized tariff conferences that served as a forum for price fixing. A very sore topic among frequent flyers.

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