Communicable diseases and pandemics have important implications for airlines and their customers. On this page you will find resources for airlines and other travel professionals medical crews.
IATA continues to monitor developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) IHR Secretariat, ICAO and the US Centers for Disease Control.
Latest summary of medical evidence (April 2022): COVID-19: Air Travel, Public Health Measures and Risk: A Brief Summary of Current Medical Evidence (pdf).
This viral infection, previously rare outside the endemic areas of Central and West Africa, began to spread to other countries in May 2022. Human-to-human transmission occurs through close contact with infectious material from skin lesions of an infected person, generally from skin-skin and mouth-skin contact, and the vast majority of spread so far has been among men who have sex with men (MSM). There are currently no restrictions to travel in relation with Monkeypox although WHO advises recent close contacts of cases to avoid travel.
Following the 2021 outbreaks of Ebola virus disease in DRC and Guinea, an outbreak began in Uganda in September 2022. This outbreak is of the Sudan strain of the virus for which there are no registered vaccines. While there is potential for infected people to travel by air, spread is generally only through very close contact such as within households, and any cross-border spread is considered more likely to occur through land borders. For now, this situation doesn’t impact international air travel.
Emergency Response Guidelines
Based on experience with different outbreaks, the Emergency Response Plan & Action Checklist (pdf) is meant to be used by air carriers in the event of a public health emergency.
An important part of this plan involves a series of guidelines and best practices for airline staff:
Universal Precaution Kit (2017) (pdf)
Crew health precautions in pandemic (2020) (pdf)
Maintenance Crew (2017) (pdf)
Cargo & Baggage Handlers (2017) (pdf)
Passenger Agents (2017) (pdf)
Flu Hygiene flyer (pdf)
Cabin Announcement Scripts (2017) (pdf)
Cabin Air Quality Brief (pdf)
Cabin Crew (2017) (pdf)
Cleaning Crew (2017) (pdf)
Bird Strike (2017) (pdf)