CAPA LIVE – Rapid Covid-19 testing 'critical' for traveller confidence as we still await delivery of a vaccine

15 October, 2020

Corporate Travel Management (CTM) executive director and managing director Jamie Pherous believes that rapid Covid-19 testing at airports is "really critical" for restoring traveller confidence with a 15 minute test at each end of the journey an option that "will give a lot of people confidence".

Speaking at the first edition of CAPA Live - a new monthly virtual "summit", offering insights, information, data and live interviews across a next-gen virtual event platform - Mr Pherous explained that he expects "mass consolidation" in the corporate travel supply chain due to the loss of international business.

Corporate Travel Management is a global provider of travel solutions spanning corporate, events, leisure, loyalty and wholesale travel and Mr Pherous said it is benefitting from a "diversity in client and geography" which has facilitated an "exceptionally strong" return to travel in some parts of the world, its portfolio of domestic clients and its essential travel clients, including those in the government, healthcare and mining sectors".

The keynote interview with Mr Pherous was just one of a range of rich corporate travel content available in the dedicated CTC - Corporate Travel Community supported channel that also included presentations, a special Bow-Tie briefing with Dr Benson Tang and a thought leadership masterclass on preparing travel programmes for new traveller safety requirements.

In her global round-up of projections for aviation recovery CTC - Corporate Travel Community global director Catherine Craig highlighted the scale of the problem as industry experts suggest business travel will not recover until 2025, considering the volatility of the coronavirus pandemic and the reaction of the global economy. "It's a dire outlook to say the very least," she said.

Ms Craig also noted variation in the recovery of domestic markets, with Russia recovering to pre-crisis levels of RPK growth and China "showing consistent signs of recovery", while the US faces a fourth consecutive month of travel stagnation and Australia remains "closed for business".

Only a small percentage of organisations expect any form of business travel in 2020 and any travel would be mainly domestic. Only one third of US based organisations expect to travel domestically in 2020 and only 10% expect to undertake international business trips. Ms Craig said passenger confidence will be contingent on the reopening of borders and the availability of a coronavirus vaccine or antiviral cocktails, which would have a positive impact on recovery.

In another session during CAPA Live that considered the progress of the Covid-19 pandemic, including the very latest data on the pandemic, Informa PLC director custom intelligence & analytics Duncan Emerton stated there has been "significant investment" in resources in response to Covid-19, adding the industry is "setting new standards of collaboration to find a solution and exit strategy".

Mr Emerton added since the beginning of 2020, there has been an exponential increase in trials for drugs that are now in the pipeline with the clinical trial landscape "early in evidence generation" but starting to deliver "reassuring data". But despite offering some insightful updates from Informa's Pharma Intelligence on the status of vaccines and therapeutics, including timeframes for rollout, his evidence shows it will still be some time before a true sustainable solution is delivered.

In the 'Progress of the Pandemic...Therapeutics, Vaccines and the Future' discussion, Informa PLC head of group health, safety and security Steve Dyson, provided his own observations on the pandemic. "We need to start seeing the pandemic figures falling at a global level and that is still not happening," he said.

Mr Dyson noted Asian countries have not seen as high fatality and case rates as countries such as the US, India and Brazil. "This is perhaps due to their experience of recent pandemics that occurred predominantly in Asia and more advanced levels of biosafety and biosecurity at airports and at major events," he explained.

CAPA Live will become the central hub that keeps our global CTC network informed and connected, exploring topical content with industry leaders, housing a centralised information zone full of must-have resources, expert opinion pieces and analysis, as well as on-demand videos and community discussion forums. CAPA Live will be provide a professional source of virtual interaction where you will be able to chat/video call with your network, speakers, industry thought leaders, peers, buyers/suppliers, CAPA analysts and even your own team members who are part of the community.
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