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PARIS/LONDON—European governments should focus on developing coherent air travel policies as airlines struggle to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than shielding national carriers, easyJet Chief Executive Johan Lundgren said on Tuesday.
“There needs to be a common approach when it comes to the things that have to do with testing (and) quarantine,” Lundgren said during the event hosted by Brussels-based industry group Airlines for Europe (A4E).
Pressure on the sector is intensifying as the travel slump drags on longer and deeper than many had expected, increasing the threat to weaker players as well as the prospect of a new round of government bailouts.
With 4.2 million European flights and 140 billion euros ($166 billion) in revenue already lost to the crisis, according to Eurocontrol data, airlines have condemned quarantines as a disproportionate response and a major travel deterrent.
Seeking to restore order amid policy chaos, the European Union is struggling to persuade governments to embrace common risk assessments and principles governing travel rules.
Beyond that, a coordinated global approach is key to restoring long-haul travel, said Sebastian Mikosz of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
“We are not at the stage of the recovery, we are still at the stage of the survival,” he said. “If you have any form of quarantine (it’s) absolutely equivalent to closing the market.”
By Laurence Frost and Sarah Young
Focus News: EasyJet CEO Chides EU States Over Fragmented Travel Policies
The U.S. Department of Commerce and Russia’s state atomic agency have initialed a draft amendment extending a 1992 agreement that will, if finalized, slash America’s reliance on Russian uranium. The Commerce Department is hoping to seal the deal by Oct. 5 at the latest, the agency said in a press release, noting that the amendment would extend the Agreement Suspending the Antidumping Investigation on Uranium from the Russian Federation to 2040 and so “reduce U.S. reliance on uranium from Russia” for the next 20 years. Under the 1992 agreement, which saw a series of amendments added over the years, with the latest in 2008, the amount of Russian uranium entering the American market is restricted by quotas. The most recently agreed upon limits are due to lapse this year. “This draft agreement…