The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has said chaos and confusion over travel corridors is undermining confidence and deepening the COVID-19 economic crisis.

With travellers expressing confusion over changing quarantine rules, BALPA has again called on the UK government to provide clarity on border policies, which the association said was damaging the economy.

BALPA said incoherent messages and changing rules are confusing, fail to target areas of high COVID-19 transmission risk and are putting the travel industry in a “chokehold.”

Blacklisting whole countries “not a focused approach”

The pilots’ union said blacklisting whole countries, such as Portugal and Spain, was not a focused approach, did not provide the best protection against coronavirus transmission and was undermining traveller confidence which was hugely detrimental to the aviation industry and the UK economy. BALPA says that travel advice based around smaller areas such as cities, would be more logical.

BALPA has also called for clarity on who will shoulder the huge cost of quarantine. Holidaymakers who cannot work on their return will incur loss of earnings while airlines will face a huge loss of revenue – all as a result of government policy and through no fault of either holidaymakers or airlines. Therefore, there should be the opportunity to claim for loss of earnings and loss of revenue.

Travelling public need clarity

BALPA’s General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “The everchanging advice and guidance is neither protecting the public or inspiring confidence. The travelling public needs clarity. Constantly moving the goal posts and blacklisting whole countries, when only certain regions are a risk, does not help.

“We are asking the Government to sharpen the ‘blunt tool’ approach and look at the COVID problem at a regional and city level rather than blacklisting entire countries. Looking at the problem this way would allow airlines to rebuild much needed connectivity, give people confidence to travel, kick-start business and would provide a boost to the UK economy.”

“The Government’s latest decisions will have cost holidaymakers and airlines a fortune – where is the compensation for that?”
Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter