New aviation policy to make international air travel stress-free for all

A new proposed framework for aviation will remove international travel confusion for passengers. — ORNA WACHMAN/Pixabay

A new global aviation policy is set to remove the stress of international air travel in an endemic environment.

The Harmonising Air Travel policy – jointly developed by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) and the United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) – is a framework that will make international travel simpler by removing the confusion over travel requirements.

GACA president Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Duailej said the confusion on travel requirements have discouraged many people from travelling.

“The pandemic exposed how disconnected the world really is. Our research shows that many people chose not to travel in 2021 – and will not travel in 2022 – because of confusing health requirements to get from country to country,” he said in a statement.

According to recent YouGov research, currently 32% of Americans, 47% of people in the Gulf, 40% of people in Italy and 40% of people in Britain say confusion over health requirements will prevent them from travelling in 2022.

The proposed framework will remove international travel confusion for passengers, carriers and governments by creating a single, clear, up-to-date online resource setting out requirements for entry to all participating countries.

The universal platform will be able to integrate all existing international aviation and government-to-government health crises communication systems.

According to Abdulaziz, the initiative will unify and strengthen the aviation industry by enabling it to navigate future health crises.

“Aviation is the lifeblood of the global economy, and it is crucial to safeguard it from future disruption. The Harmonising Air Travel policy framework demonstrates the leadership role Saudi Arabia is taking to ensure that the sector thrives in the years to come,” he said.

The policy will be submitted to the ICAO General Assembly with the objective of receiving approval from member states in October this year.

Big markets

In another aviation-related development, Tourism Malaysia is enhancing its partnership with international airlines to welcome more tourists from West Asia.

The agency is currently ramping up marketing and promotional efforts to attract more tourists from the region by launching roadshows in Iran, Oman and Qatar. The roadshows highlight partnerships with airlines such as Qatar Airways, Oman Air and Mahan Air, all of which offer offer direct flights to Kuala Lumpur.

The roadshows were held in Tehran (Iran), Muscat (Oman) and Doha (Qatar) recently.

According to Tourism Malaysia, travellers from the West Asia market dominated the top five international tourist spending in Malaysia in terms of per capita expenditure. Tourists from these countries also normally stay longer in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, the agency will also work together with Emirates to increase air connectivity to Malaysia.

Tourism Malaysia recently signed a Memorandum of Collaboration with the airline at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2022 that was held in Dubai.

Through this collaboration, Emirates is expected to expand its wings to other cities in Malaysia as well as promote some of the country’s latest attractions and destinations for shopping, family fun, eco-adventure, weddings, and luxury holidays.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the partnership will boost the tourism industry and strengthen economic ties between Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

“We hope Emirates will continue to work together with Tourism Malaysia to promote Malaysia as a unique travel destination, aand focusing solely on Malaysia by highlighting different cities such as Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) and Penang.

“This collaboration also aims to attract potential tourists from other markets such as Europe, the United States, and Africa via Emirates’ network and services,” she said.

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