EasyJet has called on the government to explain why it is okay to go to a nightclub but not visit a foreign beach.
The airline’s chief executive Johan Lundgren said officials should provide transparent data to explain changes to the traffic lights system.
He said he could not understand how the government had reached decisions such as placing greater restrictions on travellers to France.
“It is not clear to me why this new category should be in place. You can go into a crowded nightclub but not lie on a beach with a much lower infection risk. That just does not make sense,” he said.
Lundgren said other countries were taking the same view to reopening travel as they were taking to reopening their domestic economies.
“The government here has a different approach to international travel compared with domestic travel. The UK is being left behind and the rest of Europe is opening up and unwinding.
“In Holland we are flying more passengers than prior to the pandemic because the public has confidence in the travel restrictions system because it is clear about what constitutes safe travel.”
Lundgren said many more European destinations should be reopened if data was being followed.
“It is highly unfair on those millions of customers that still have not been able to reunite with family and friends or take that holiday.”
He said two-thirds of easyJet bookings were currently from outside the UK. “Normally it is 50/50,” he said, adding 60% of airline capacity was “not touching UK soil”.
Despite this, he said the airline was expanding at a faster rate than Ryanair or Wizz Air. “We launched more routes than the two them together in June,” he said, adding the carrier was well prepared for any upturn in demand.
However, he cautioned: “We always said we thought the recovery would be back to 2019 levels in 2023. The truth is, nobody knows exactly when it is going to be.”