The bosses of the UK’s airlines have pleaded with prime minister Boris Johnson to implement a series of new measures as a “last chance” to save the country’s aviation industry.
Industry body Airlines UK has written to Johnson urging him to implement a “programme of recovery” for the sector as it faces “most challenging winter season we have ever faced”.
The letter, signed by the chief executives of British Airways, Jet2.com, easyJet, Tui, Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair, calls for an immediate Covid-19 testing trial to reduce the length of quarantine for arriving passengers from 14 days to five days.
“A Covid-19 PCR test following a five-day quarantine on arrival into the UK offers a credible balance between protecting public health and increasing demand for air travel,” said the letter.
“At the same time, the government should implement a trial – for example between London and New York – testing both on arrival and at day five, which would provide real-world data to give ministers the reassurance that a one-test on arrival system is safe.”
Airlines UK also asks Johnson for a 12-month APD waiver, the retention of the furlough scheme for the aviation sector beyond October, and an “expansion of regional travel corridors to mainland areas”.
“We know this winter is going to be the toughest on record for the UK economy, and particularly the aviation sector,” add the airline bosses, “We therefore believe a meaningful package of economic measures to support the industry and save jobs is also required.
“Do you want to make Global Britain a reality rather than merely a slogan? If the answer to any of these questions is yes then, before it is too late, you must grasp this last chance to save the aviation industry, and with it so much prosperity across the UK.”