The travel industry on both sides of the Atlantic has pleaded with President Biden and Boris Johnson to open a UK-US air corridor.
In a letter to the White House and Downing Street, nearly 50 organisations and companies including Abta, UKinbound, Clia and Advantage argue that if travel restrictions are lifted by June, passenger numbers, buoyed by summer traffic, would approach 70% of 2019 levels by the end of this year.
The letter urges Biden and Johnson to take steps ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall from 11-13 June. It argues there has been sufficient progress on vaccinations to consider opening a travel corridor.
It added: “We commend the enormous success of your respective vaccine programmes. In the US, as of April 26, 36% of the adult population (age 16 and over) have been fully vaccinated, and 53% have received at least one dose of the vaccine. In the UK, as of April 26, 23% of the adult population (age 16 and over) have been fully vaccinated, and 62% have received at least one dose.”
The letter added all adults in both countries who wanted a vaccination were likely to have received at least their first dose by the end of July.
“It is this success that now marks a significant opportunity for the UK and US to lead the world by demonstrating how to re-open this crucial air corridor safely,” it said.
The letter also pointed out the importance of travel and tourism to both countries’ economies, with the US earning 8.6% of GDP from it and the UK 10.1%.
“UK visitors were the second largest source of inbound international tourism revenue for the US economy, while US visitors were the largest source of such revenue for the UK economy,” it added.