Foreign holidays latest as airlines call for urgent easing of travel rules

Delaying the return of international vacations and travel abroad will cost at least £ 3 billion and put half a million jobs at risk.

Airlines UKThe agency, which represents the country’s major airlines and airports, has highlighted the cost of a “lost summer” of international travel if restrictions are not eased quickly.

Failure to open routes to European countries would cause the greatest damage, followed by the United States – with no flight connection to the US until September, which costs Britain £ 23 million a day. According to Unite the Union, an estimated 5,164 UK aviation and related jobs have been lost every month since February 2020.

Birmingham Airport was one of the international transport hubs hardest hit by the lockdown. In the last week of January, only 31 flights landed at the airport, compared to 740 at the same time in 2020.

Airlines UK’s report makes it clear that the Global Travel Taskforce urgently needs to recommend a safe and sustainable resumption of international travel on May 17th.

It describes the disastrous impact that a limited reopening of travel would have on travel and tourism from May onwards.

Tim Alderslade, Managing Director of Airlines UK said: “For many of us, aviation is associated with a vacation or a much-needed break. However, this new report shows the importance of UK air connections to our economic prosperity, be it UK exporters, the hospitality sector or companies with an international presence.

“The data disproves claims that it is worth shutting down aviation or delaying the restart beyond the summer. Every day aircraft are grounded costs tens of millions of pounds and puts thousands of jobs at risk. The priority now is clearly warranty a permanent framework for a risk-based approach to reopening air traffic from May 17th “

British Airways CEO Sean Doyle added, “The emotional and economic costs of not opening international travel on May 17th are clear.

“With more than 50 percent of the UK’s adult population vaccinated in a program the world has been the envy of, the government now urgently needs to put in place a phased, risk-based framework for restarting travel this summer that will save the economy and jobs enable the company to start new friends and families and bring them back together. “

Stewart Wingate, Managing Director, Gatwick Airport, said: “Public health is of course an absolute priority. Assuming that the rollout of vaccines across Europe is successful and restrictions abate by the beginning of summer, a flexible, risk-based approach to reopening international travel would not only help reopen, rebuild and protect jobs, but that too Restore consumer confidence and allow people to see family or enjoy a well-deserved break ..

This has been confirmed by Heathrow Chief John Holland-Kaye, who said: “For over a year now, travel restrictions have effectively disrupted the UK’s relations with its major trading partners and slowed the country’s economic growth. If this government is serious about building a global UK, the Travel Taskforce must seize this opportunity. ”

Virgin Atlantic’s Shai Weiss added, “A gradual relaxation of testing requirements and limit restrictions that follows science will protect public health and ensure the skies can be safely reopened from May 17th, creating half a million jobs in the UK, which are dependent on the US sector. ”

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