A major aircraft charter broker, Air Charter Service, predicts that Covid-related travel restrictions will remain in place for the next two years in one form or another.
The company has been tracking the situation live over the past two years for its online guide to travel restrictions, giving it insight into the changes on a daily basis. The guide, replete with data collected from government and International Air Transport Association websites, reveals that 76% of countries still have some form of travel restrictions in place at present.
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Justin Lancaster, Air Charter Service Group Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The current number of countries imposing restrictions is still very high, and they range from border closures to vaccination checks and testing requirements. We are constantly updating our guide to keep it up to date and, based on the analysis of data sources and information we have monitored since its launch in 2020, as well as current travel trends, we do not expect not expect the situation to completely normalize over the next two years. of years.
“We have seen lockdown restrictions lifted in many places, but due to the nature of travel, restrictions and checks are still widespread, from a global perspective. These restrictions, along with the other problems caused by Covid, including delays due to additional screening, staff shortages, lack of commercial flights and frequent cancellations, are causing travelers to lose confidence and patience in scheduled services.
“As a result, more and more people are turning to private aviation as they seek ways to avoid the added hassle and as such we have seen a 37% increase in charter flights to pre- pandemic. Travelers are looking to avoid the chaos of large airports and have a less stressful experience, especially after an unpredictable few years.
“That said, a new variant could still be on the horizon, which means the restrictions could last longer or alternatively, many governments may well lift the restrictions sooner to make the most of the return of tourism. We have saw an increase in travel to Faro after the first lockdown when Portugal was one of the first to ease restrictions, so we may well see governments looking for similar results to boost their economies.