Aviation union president: EU flight ban could cause 'long-term hurt to America's brand'

International President of the Association of Flight Attendants Sara Nelson on Monday warned that the European Union’s proposed ban on flights from the U.S. due to spiking coronavirus numbers could deal a major blow to the U.S. aviation’s international reputation.

Nelson, in a HillTV interview, called the EU’s announcement “something that we have been warning about for several months now,” adding “if the United States does not attack the actual problem, the virus, we are not going to limit the spread, we’re not going to contain the spread, and we are opening ourselves to criticism form the rest of the world where decisive actions have been taken to limit the spread.”

Nelson noted if the U.S. does not control the spread of the virus, not only will U.S. flights be unable to enter the EU, travelers from other countries will have no desire to fly to the U.S.

“This is about our standing in the world, and U.S. aviation has been known to lead the world on safety standards, on competence, on honesty in governance of aviation, and because of this we have had access to the rest of the world,” she said. “We have been able to put this reputation that we have into trade agreements and have access to anywhere we want to fly.”

“This is going to have long-term hurt, not only immediate hurt, but long-term hurt to America’s brand,” she added.