Vaccines not a silver bullet
Richard Maslen from CAPA – Center for Aviation gave a live presentation focusing on the aviation sector in the Middle East and Africa.
- Just like the coronavirus pandemic arrived with little warning, its DNA, which changes with increasing mutations, shows that it can continue to surprise us.
- Since the borders are effectively closed and non-essential travel is restricted, international flying remains severely restricted.
- CAPA had warned that the arrival of vaccines would not be a silver bullet.
Richard Maslen’s talk looks at some of the most recent developments in the regions, each going into more detail about a specific market. This month the focus is on Kuwait and Nigeria and why the COVID-19 vaccine is not a silver bullet. Richard begins:
After entering the year with perhaps the most optimistic outlook we’ve seen in many months, the reality of the past two months has reminded us that nothing can be taken for granted. Just as the coronavirus pandemic arrived with little warning, its DNA, which changes with increasing mutations, shows that although we believe we finally understand the deadly virus, we can still surprise ourselves. In many parts of the world, new waves of the pandemic have resulted in stricter rules to restrict mobility being enacted again after a short-term freedom.
Since the borders are effectively closed and non-essential travel is restricted, international flying remains severely restricted. But are we really surprised?
Here at CAPA we had warned that the arrival of vaccines would not be a silver bullet. It is certainly a significant step into the new world after COVID, but that still remains a long way off. A positive story in a sea of bad news was like a desert island oasis and led us to believe that life would get better. It will, but the reality is that it will stay the longer term and right now things may be more difficult than ever for the world’s airlines and the many businesses that support them. Most airlines have now resumed operations to some extent, but remain well below pre-public health crisis levels. Traffic restrictions to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and other waves of infection continue to negatively impact international recovery, although domestic travel has shown positive signs of recovery.
The Middle East is particularly hard hit by the ongoing international travel restrictions as the major airlines previously operated networks that span the globe and rely on international passengers.