Dubai Airports CEO Says Trillions Of Dollars Could Be Lost Without Common Travel Protocols

The global economy could lose out on trillions of dollars because countries and governments are yet to get together to draw a consensus about how to safely restart travel in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, said the chief executive of Dubai Airports.

“We don’t have an agreed testing procedure for a reliable, accurate and scalable test, and that needs to happen,” Paul Griffiths said in an interview to a news channel.

“Secondly, there’s no harmonization between the control measures and the need to have a quarantine regime that is both effective and non-intrusive,” he said. Dubai International and Dubai World Central Airports in the United Arab Emirates is owned by Dubai Airports.

The economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the global aviation industry very hard as air travel has virtually come to a standstill with countries closing their borders to prevent the spread of the virus.

And despite some countries opening up, the safety measures put in place vary.  

Griffiths said that the “essential next step to be able to get the world moving again” is a coordination of three things — testing, travel protocol and quarantines.  

“The big problem at the moment is globally, governments are looking at risk elimination,” he said. “My view is, we’re never going to get there.”

Instead, risk management and striking a balance between safety and getting the global economy rolling again should be the focus of countries, he added.

There as little focus of governments on the economic and social benefits that can be reaped by efficient and effective management of the virus in a practical way, Griffiths said. “That needs to change if we are going to get anywhere with getting back to some form of normal life which we are all desperate to achieve.”

“I think we’re running into tens of trillions of dollars already,” he said when asked about the hit to the global economy if inter country travel remains in limbo.

He added that in comparison, the cost globally of rectifying the situation was “just tiny”.

“If we could get a group of likeminded people together to harmonize those three simple steps of a proper harmonized quarantine, testing and travel protocol, and just agree what their standards are … you are talking a fraction of the damage that’s being done to the economy globally,” Griffiths said.

(Adapted from CNBC.com)

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