Aviation chiefs have welcomed confirmation of the government’s traffic light regime to restart international travel, but say cheaper testing will be vital to unlocking the sector.
The calls for cheaper testing were led by Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, the trade body for UK registered airlines, and echoed by the bosses of Jet2.com and easyJet, among others.
Referring to the framework for the resumption of international travel published by the government during the early hours of Friday morning (9 April), Alderslade said: "This does not represent a reopening of travel as promised by ministers."
The framework is based around a traffic light system, with destination countries graded green, amber and red according to a number of factors including the progress of their Covid-19 vaccination programmes and their current rate of Covid infection.
However, even those returning to the UK from green destinations will have to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two of their return, which will likely add hundreds of pounds to the cost of taking a holiday for typical families.
"The insistence on expensive and unnecessary PCR testing rather than rapid testing – even for low-risk countries – will pose an unsustainable burden on passengers, making travel unviable and unaffordable for many people," said Alderslade.