UK Airlines Respond to Government Update to International Travel Restrictions
June 25th, 2021
Commenting on the Government announcement made today on international travel, Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, the industry body representing UK-registered carriers, said:
“If implemented immediately, this decision will go some way to saving the summer season for our passengers desperate for a family holiday. A vague commitment to ‘next month’ is nothing like ambitious enough – Ministers need to grasp this and decide one way or another. With the domestic economy opening up from 19 July why does travel have to wait? They have the tools and the data to do it immediately and there is no time to lose for a sector on its knees.
“With over 60% of the public now fully vaccinated, if they get a move on it will genuinely open up the market, enabling us to put on more routes to a far greater choice of destinations for customers desperate to get away. It’s vital though that FCDO also amends its travel advice so it is aligned with the rest of Government. If someone has received both jabs the impact is the same whether they are in the UK or abroad and there needs to be a consistent message from all Ministers otherwise there will be further confusion for passengers.
“We’re disappointed that customers will still have to pay for expensive tests when they return, which makes no sense given the effectiveness of the vaccines against all known variants, and we also wanted to see more countries moved onto the green list. The continued caution from Ministers on the country list is odd given the available data that shows the positivity rate for arriving passengers is close to zero, and case rates in key markets across the EU and United States are a fraction of ours. The next review must remedy this by putting data ahead of politics and substantially adding to the green list as a matter of urgency.”