This project aims to assess the impact of air travel on the infection rate of Covid-19. We ask: To what extent does the incidence of the virus depend on the volume, origin and diversity of incoming passengers in airport areas in the months preceding the outbreak, once we control for compositional factors of the areas and their anti-epidemic policies? We consider both air travel data and local demographic, socioeconomic and policy-related characteristics, with a focus on sub-national zones that host major national and international airports. We will concentrate on the three global regions most affected by Covid-19 in early 2020: Europe, North America, and China. By estimating the impact of air travel connectivity relative to other factors, our study can help design travel restrictions that address the spread of future epidemics while minimizing the socioeconomic consequences of reduced mobility.
With Stefano Iacus (Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography, JRC, European Commission), Michele Vespe (Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography, JRC, European Commission), Spyridon Spyratos (Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography, JRC, European Commission), Alejandra Rodriguez Sanchez (Humboldt University, Berlin), Luca Bastiani (IFC / CNR).