The EU borders remain closed for non-EU citizens

Europe’s airlines and airports slam EU on border closure

A4E and ACI EUROPE urge EU and Schengen States to lift the ban on non-essential travel for countries, where the epidemiological situation allows.

The two associations represent Europe’s airlines and airports. They also support regular updating of the white list from the EU, including its expansion to other non-EU and Schengen countries. The update needs to bear in mind the criteria approved by the EU Council to support air transport and European tourism’s recovery. 

Implementation of the EU Council recommendations include: 

– Belgium is keeping its borders closed to travelers from the 15 white-listed countries until further notice.

– Germany reopening its borders to eight countries from the white list. Meanwhile is requiring reciprocity from China, Japan and South Korea before lifting entry restrictions from those countries.

– Greece barring entry to Serbian nationals (not residents). Therefore is not following the Council Recommendation and going against the EU principle of non-discrimination.

– Hungary announcing that it will not open its borders to non-EU countries except Serbia for the moment.

– Ireland extending its advice to avoid all non-essential travel until 20 July; a “green list” of countries which people could travel to will not be published until then.

– Poland extending its flight ban until 14 July. It is allowing flights from the EU, Canada, Albania , Georgia, Japan, Korea, Montenegro and Ukraine. Poland is not not using the whole list of approved countries.

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– Spain reopening its borders to 12 countries from the white list. However residents of Algeria, China and Morocco will only be able to travel to Spain if these countries reopen their borders to Spanish residents. 

European aviation and airports crisis

“These diverging national approaches are hurting our single market and will slow down aviation and tourism’s much needed recovery”, says Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director of Airlines for Europe (A4E). 

“The situation is also creating an uneven playing field within Europe at a time when our sector is still struggling for survival”, Reynaert adds. 

“We can’t afford to exit the situation as chaotically as we entered it,” says Olivier Jankovec, head of ACI EUROPE. 

European aviation remains in a severe and unprecedented crisis. Annual losses can reach a total of €82 billion, globally. This is the worst year in aviation’s financial history. Europe’s airlines are about to lose €19 billion. They are among the top three worst affected regions, globally.

The latest forecast for European airport revenue losses for the full year 2020 stands at a staggering -€32.44 billion.

Continued uncertainty about travel restrictions, quarantines, and the pandemic’s evolution will affect consumer confidence in the foreseeable future, making a harmonized and coordinated approach to the reopening of the borders even more imperative, both associations say.

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