China's homegrown C919 passenger jet taxis after landing on its maiden flight at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China, May 5, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) is playing a leading role in guiding the recovery of China's aviation industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said Wednesday.
"It's important that we reassure passengers and crew — through words and actions — that flying in an airplane is safe and secure. China's aviation sector is responding to this challenge," Deal told Xinhua.
"We commend the CAAC for taking a leadership role in putting in place protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19 and encourage the safe resumption of flying," he said.
The industry at large appreciates the agency's guidelines for airports, operators and crew members on easing the transition to regular commercial flights, Deal noted.
It is encouraging to see "domestic traffic in China" reach "70 percent of pre-COVID levels," he added.
The aviation industry is facing an unprecedented shock from the pandemic, the speed and scale of which have not been seen in more than a century.
"However, this is a very resilient industry that will recover and grow again," said Deal.
Boeing has launched its "Confident Travel Initiative" to explore technologies to further minimize air travel health risks and heighten public awareness of safeguards already in place.
In China, "air traffic is beginning the long climb back to pre-COVID levels. People need to and want to fly. We are working hard with our industry partners to make sure they can do so," Deal said.