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Global airline body IATA cancels annual meeting over travel curbs

FILE PHOTO: A logo of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is pictured before and an interview with Reuters on the consequences of the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Geneva, Switzerland, March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Major airlines pushing back against coronavirus quarantines have been forced to replace the main gathering of their own global body IATA with a virtual event, the organisation said.

The International Air Transport Association, which had already postponed its annual general meeting from June to November, said late on Thursday it had cancelled the accompanying “World Air Transport Summit” meeting.

IATA, which said the decision to scrap the Amsterdam meeting had “not been taken lightly”, has urged governments to drop quarantines that it views as disproportionate to health risks. The industry is also pressing for airport COVID-19 tests for departing international passengers.

“When we postponed this year’s AGM from June until November, it was with the expectation that government restrictions on travel would have been sufficiently eased to enable a physical meeting,” IATA said. “That now seems unlikely.”

Reporting by Laurence Frost; editing by David Evans

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