The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on all African governments to expedite the adoption of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Council Aviation Recovery Task Force’s (CART) guidance.

The ICAO CART guidance for air travel aims to reconnect the world via safe flying measures, building confidence and managing the risks of Covid-19 pandemic.

According to ICAO, the CART’s initial ‘Take-Off’ guidelines issued in June has been completely implemented by 19 African nations. More than 50% of the guidelines have been adopted by another seven countries.

IATA Africa and the Middle East regional vice-president Muhammad Albakri said: “Covid-19 has devastated African economies and brought air connectivity across the continent to a virtual standstill.

“The recovery time has lengthened with 2019 traffic levels only likely to return until late 2023. The economic consequences are severe.  Africa’s airlines will lose $6bn in passenger revenues this year.”

ICAO CART has published the second edition of ‘Take-off: Guidance for Air Travel through the Covid-19 Public Health Crisis’.

The guidance has been updated with three new recommendations, namely enhanced Covid-19 testing, the formation of Public Health Corridors or Travel Bubbles, and the extension of regulatory alleviations until 31 March 2021.

Albakri added: “While more than half of the continent’s nations have made encouraging progress, for this to make any meaningful impact, all African governments must pick up the pace.

“At the same time, IATA once again calls on the continent’s governments to provide and facilitate the flows of short-term emergency financial relief to the entire air transport industry.

“Without a stable and robust air transport system, it will be impossible for countries to rebuild their economies post-Covid-19.”

Last month, IATA’s research indicated that the risk of passengers contracting Covid-19 inflight appeared to be very low with only 44 Covid-19 cases reported since the beginning of this year.