The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has said the aviation will “remain on its knees” as a result of the with Government’s international travel plan.
BALPA was responding to the government’s Global Travel Taskforce report on restarting international travel which was released on Friday. The pilots’ association said that the lack of concrete opening dates, the high cost of mandatory Covid tests for passengers and the lack of detail on tiers would further slow the industry’s recovery with many people deciding not to travel this summer.
Plan will keep aviation industry “on its knees”
Brian Strutton, General Secretary of BALPA, said: “This plan will keep the aviation industry on its knees. Ministers have said that the best form of support would be to get Britain flying again this summer.”
He added: “The British public – more than half of whom have now received a vaccine – will not feel confident to book holidays without knowing whether they’ll be forced into quarantine on their return. And even for countries on the Green list travellers will need to take a PCR test at £100 per person, which is not sustainable.
“It is clear that under this plan airlines are not going to be able to recover during this summer seasn and will have to wait for summer 2022 for significant leisure travel to resume. Given that, I will be writing to the Chancellor today to once again make the case for significant economic support. Air travel is too important to the economy and to the hundreds of thousands of people whose livelihoods rely on it to be left to whither.”
Taskforce report only adds to uncertainty – ADS
ADS Chief Executive Kevin Craven said the report had only added to the uncertainty – the roadmap for loosening Covid restrictions has previously given May 17 as the earliest date for the resumption of international travel. Under current restrictions, holidays and non-essential travel remain banned.
Craven said: “The approach set out today will allow only a limited return to international travel. The cost of testing for travellers and continued uncertainty on a date for reopening threaten to stifle the pace of recovery.”
“The Government must work to rebuild consumer confidence in travel and reconnect the UK with our most important trading partners. It should provide early confirmation that travel will resume on May 17 as planned, publish details of country categorisations, and work to cut the costs of testing for passengers to ensure travel is affordable for families and businesses.”
“Building on the UK’s successful vaccination programme, a certification scheme that reduces the need for testing and quarantine can provide another route to give passengers the freedom and confidence they need to return to normal travel plans.”