British and US airlines have jointly called for resumption of travel between the two countries, saying government restrictions on the world’s most lucrative air route are slowing economic recovery.
Leisure and business travel could resume without undermining efforts to fight COVID-19, executives at Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines and JetBlue Airways said on Monday (AEST Tuesday). They were joined by their counterparts from British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
As carriers have argued for a resumption of transatlantic travel since last summer, the latest push comes days before President Joe Biden heads to the G-7 summit in England.
The visit raised hopes that talks about a reopening could bear fruit, most likely starting with quarantine-exempt flights for vaccinated passengers. Before the pandemic, London-New York was the world’s main revenue stream, generating more than $ 1 billion ($ 1.3 billion) per year.
“They must tackle the transatlantic ban that separates our two low-risk countries at a major cost to our citizens and our economies,” said Sean Doyle, CEO of British Airways. “We urgently need them to turn to science and base their judgments on an appropriate risk analysis, allowing us all to benefit from the protection offered by our successful vaccine deployments. “
London Heathrow Airport, which has joined the advocacy for faster reopening, said its American passengers normally spend $ 5.3 billion a year in Britain, nearly a quarter of the total. foreign tourists.
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said a reopening between Britain and the United States is “a critical next step both in the travel industry and in the recovery of the global economy “, adding that the pace of vaccination programs has made people” more and more eager to cross the Atlantic “. .