British Airways parent firm IAG has called on governments to implement “four key measures” to successfully restart international travel.
IAG chief executive Luis Gallego said the company’s airlines, which also include Aer Lingus and Iberia, were “ready to fly” but needed government action in four crucial areas.
Gallego called for travel “corridors” without restrictions to be established between countries with “successful” vaccination rollouts and effective testing regimes, such as the UK and US.
He also wanted to see “affordable, simple and proportionate” Covid tests, as well as digital passes for testing and vaccine documentation, and “well-staffed” borders that use contactless technology to allow a “safe, smooth flow of people”.
“We’re absolutely confident that a safe restart to travel can happen as shown by the scientific data,” added Gallego. “We’re ready to fly, but government action is needed through the four key measures
“These measures will enable a safe reopening of our skies. Travel underpins a global industry that supports 13 million jobs in Europe alone. There’s a high level of pent-up demand and aviation will play a critical role in reconnecting people and getting economies back up and running again.”
Gallego made his plea as IAG reported an operating loss of €1.135 billion for the first three months of the year, compared with a loss of €535 million in the same quarter in 2020, as the group’s revenue slumped by 79% to just €968 million.