As COVID-19 narrative weakens and economies open, more travelers from around the globe book flights

Chicago O'Hare Airport, Chicago, USA (Photo by Miguel Ángel Sanz on Unsplash)

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and airlines slashing both domestic and international flights, this hasn't stopped travelers and their wanderlust. In fact, airlines from around the world have actually seen a spike in their bookings.

Travel bans both domestically and internationally from countries around the world -- which we'll get to here momentarily on a legal note -- have been put into place as well, however, this also hasn't stopped people from planning on air travel, with data showing that ticket sales are starting to surge.

With American Airlines in particular, they've seen a rise in bookings, which has their CEO Doug Parker feeling optimistic about the potential of what fourth quarter sales could be with booking already increasing here in April.

"There are indications that the world is ready to start traveling again," said Parker.

But it's not just the United States of America that this is happening in, it's also happening in other countries like New Zealand. The Chief Revenue Officer of Air New Zealand, Cam Wallace, is saying that his company is having a "reasonably significant spike" in their sales from as early as May 16 and forward.

The increase in sales has also seen Air New Zealand add additional services.

Even in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, it's obvious that people aren't afraid to travel and are ready to do so, and legally, nobody can stop them -- not even the coronavirus Karen. This, according to international law.

According to Science:

From China's lockdown of the city of Wuhan (1) to U.S. restrictions on travelers from Europe (2) to border closures across a widening range of countries (3), governments are increasingly seeking to limit freedom of movement in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These travel restrictions have slowed, but not halted, the spread of the pandemic (“The effect of travel restrictions on the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak,” M. Chinazzi et al., Research Articles, published online 6 March, p. eaba9757). However, the necessity and benefits of this public health response are outweighed by its violation of international law. Under the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR), binding on all World Health Organization (WHO) member states, health measures “shall not be more restrictive of international traffic and not more invasive or intrusive to persons than reasonably available alternatives” [(4), art. 43]. Given the effectiveness of community-based public health measures such as social distancing (5) and contact tracing (6), the necessity of travel bans must be weighed against less restrictive alternatives, increased global divisions, and violated IHR obligations (7).
The IHR seeks to govern how states can come together to address collective public health threats, whereas national travel bans drive nations apart through unnecessary economic isolation and rights violations. Although the IHR demands that health measures be implemented “with full respect for the dignity, human rights, and fundamental freedoms of persons” [(4), art. 3], travel restrictions unnecessarily infringe a range of basic rights related to the freedom of movement.