Chairman of the Board of Avia Solutions Group Gediminas Ziemelis: Vaccination passports

Chairman of the Board of Avia Solutions Group Gediminas Ziemelis: Vaccination passports


In every crisis, there is a need for joined-up thinking. The need to approach an intricate situation in a well-considered and intelligent manner. So far, every stage of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought its own unique challenges for the aviation and travel industries, from the initial feelings of economic uncertainty to the growing glimmers of hope as the vaccines came on-stream. These industries have crossed every hurdle as they were presented and serve as proof of their ability to gather all the necessary information and take the right course of action. The introduction of a vaccination passport could be the next stage in that recovery process

There is no doubt that the world is tired of this pandemic, there is a psychological and economic limit to how much people and commerce can take. But isn’t it possible that the introduction of a vaccination passport – physical or digital – can go a long way towards removing the stress and damage being done?

The present restrictions are unworkable for most people who want to travel and the industries that cater for their needs. The necessity to quarantine either side of a short vacation or business trip is doing untold damage to an already crippled sector. That’s why countries that are currently actively exploring the possibilities of vaccine passports need to work coherently and speak with a united voice. The European Union as a whole have already announced their intentions and plans for an EU-wide ‘Green Digital Certificate’ allowing those who have been vaccinated, tested negative, or recently recovered from the virus to travel unhindered within the EU.

But not all countries are singing from the same page. Some have expressed their doubts, or even their complete disapproval of such a step. Of the 27 EU member states, 15 members are fully in favour of the move while others have still to make up their minds, or are completely opposed to the introduction of passports.

The arguments in favour of the passport introduction are a long-awaited return to normality, an encouragement for vaccination uptake, better protection for workers within the sectors, and the full and welcome reopening of economies. Those against the vaccine passport cite inequality, discrimination, cultural and religious beliefs, and privacy as their major concerns.

Despite the pros and cons in the arguments being presented, the common-sense approach is for a unified and cohesive coming together of international policymakers, where concerns are addressed and ironed-out collectively.

It is only through a common approach that the world can return to anywhere near normal. There is no place for division in this collective fight for our futures. Grinding economies to a standstill can only become a destructive element in the fight against a global pandemic that requires the backing of all of our resources. The longer we wait to take effective action will only serve to encourage the growth of long-term social problems while destroying the economies of individual nations.

The reopening of international trade and the movement of goods and people and the return to healthy viable economies are the only real resource that can lead to an equitable solution, beneficial to all.  Without maintaining a viable economic structure, entire nations will find themselves lacking when it comes to managing the pandemic for every member of society.

Now is not the time to drag our heels while arguing the finer points on the introduction of vaccination passports, now is the time for collective, cohesive, and unilateral action.

As it stands, our lives are already filled with passports, rules, and regulations. Will one more make any difference, so long as the guidelines are arrived at in a united manner, and are intended to act for the benefit of us all?

About Gediminas Ziemelis:

Gediminas Ziemelis is a founder and chairman of “Avia Solutions Group” – one of the largest aerospace servicing companies presented in more than 67 countries. In 2016, G. Ziemelis received a prestigious European Business Award in recognition for his visionary business management and development skills. The same year, under his leadership, Avia Solutions Group was named a national public champion in the category of Entrepreneurship, earning a spot in the top 110 of European businesses. Twice, in 2012 and in 2014, Ziemelis was acknowledged as one of the top 40 most talented young leaders in the global aerospace industry by the leading USA aerospace magazine „Aviation Week”. 2014 – 2017 Gediminas Ziemelis personally supported and consulted Chinese Banks (including ICBCL, CMBL, and Skycop) with regard to financing aircraft sale-leaseback transactions in the CIS region. His total value of transactions – more than $ 2 B. 2006 – 2013 Gediminas executed successful IPOs of 4 companies at OMX and WSE and raised public capital worth more than $ 100 M.

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SOURCE Avia Solutions Group

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