With the resumption of part of international flights at Fortaleza Airport concomitant to the threat of a second wave of contamination in Europe, passengers arriving from abroad in the Capital will undergo a protocol that will include testing for Covid-19. The measure was revealed by the Secretary of State for Health, Dr. Cabeto, who estimates that, until next week, the complete protocol will begin to be put into practice.
According to him, the State Government is preparing security measures together with Fraport Brasil, the terminal’s management company. “The State is already talking to Fraport to develop a protocol for regular analysis of passengers. By next week, the protocol to ensure health security and adequate attention to visitors must be ready,” he said.
However, while the State does not operate this, Ceará is already receiving flights from France. After more than five months, Air France-KLM resumed, yesterday (16), one of the weekly frequencies that connects Fortaleza to Paris. The company will carry out two weekly operations, on Fridays, with the Paris-Fortaleza stretch, departing at 12 noon, and the Fortaleza-Paris stretch, departing at 18h55. In addition, until Friday of last week (9), from international operations, Fortaleza had only flights to Lisbon, with two weekly flights operated by TAP.
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), Portugal had 2,100 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 last Friday (16). France counted more than 30 thousand new patients.
Dr. Cabeto also detailed that the test to be performed will be the RT-PCR, the result of which will be out in a few hours, giving greater speed in the release of passengers. “The State will bear all the costs. We still don’t know how much it will cost. As the flights are gradually resuming, we are counting how many passengers there will be,” he said.
Despite confirmation by the holder of Sesa, the Secretary of State for Tourism, Arialdo Pinho, denied that there will be testing on passengers and crew. According to him, the measure came to be considered, but did not move forward.
“The State has been thinking about doing it, but Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency), Anac (National Civil Aviation Agency) and the Federal Police (PF) take care of this. It needs the authorization of these three bodies. Personnel and test, we have, but the authorization does not, “he pointed out.
The flights between Fortaleza and Paris will be operated with a Boeing 777-200, with a configuration of 312 seats, with 28 seats in Business Class, 24 in Premium Economy and 260 in Economy Class. According to Air France, the maintenance of the route between the capital of Ceará and the French capital, from November onwards, will depend on demand.
“Due to the new wave of contagion cases from Covid in several European countries and the consequent travel and circulation restrictions imposed not only in the Old Continent but worldwide, the company will evaluate the performance of flights between Paris and Fortaleza for maintenance of the route during the month of November onwards “, informed the company.
In the statement, Jean-Marc Pouchol, general manager of the Air France-KLM Group in South America, says that the company is analyzing the performance of all the routes it has taken to make the necessary adjustments.
“We are living in a very sensitive moment for tourism not only in Brazil, but in the whole world. For this reason, we remain attentive, month by month, in the performance of all our routes, including the one in Fortaleza that we just reopened, to do the necessary adjustments aligning the demand and supply of our flights, “said Pouchol.
In the evaluation of the president of the Brazilian Association of the Hotel Industry in Ceará (Abih-CE), Régis Medeiros, the information on tests on international flight passengers reassures the sector about a possible impact on the resumption of the Ceará economy in the event of a second wave of the pandemic.
In addition, he reinforces that the current moment in the context of resuming tourism in Ceará is strongly anchored in domestic visitors. “In this very first moment, it is local tourism. From other states, the flow is starting to improve. International tourism is still very incipient in this first moment, very small. There are many companies that will not return now”, he explains.
Régis Medeiros also considers that the resumption of domestic flights, given the current context, is considered much more important. “We are not yet considering the resumption of international tourism. At that moment I am happier with the resumption of domestic flights”, he points out. For him, the resumption of international tourism in Ceará should occur in the second half of next year.
Arialdo Pinho revealed that hotel employees, tour guides and restaurant workers will be tested. According to him, on Monday (19) there will be a meeting with the hotel chain to discuss the logistics of the procedure. According to the secretary, the first tests should be carried out in early November and will be fully funded by the State. “Even with this second wave threat, I believe that the resumption of tourism will not be impacted. European countries already have much greater control over the disease,” said the secretary.
Regarding hygiene protocols, Fraport Brasil – Fortaleza, which manages Pinto Martins airport, informed that it strictly follows the recommendations of health authorities and the measures for the prevention of coronavirus implemented since the beginning of the pandemic. “We performed the disinfection of the airport areas in partnership with the Brazilian Army”. Fraport also informed that the State Department of Health continues to measure the temperature of passengers in the baggage claim area after disembarking.