‘We can’t be locked up forever,’ aviation leaders tell G7

By Lisa James
07/06/2021
Home » ‘We can’t be locked up forever,’ aviation leaders tell G7

Transatlantic airline bosses and other industry CEOs are urging the G7 Summit to make reopening the UK-US travel corridor a top priority.

Speaking out ahead of the G7 Summit in Cornwall from 11-13 June, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, British Airways CEO and Chairman Sean Doyle, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye, JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes, United CEO Scott Kirby, US Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow and Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss made a unified demand.

Virgin CEO Shai Weiss said: “There is no reason for the US to be absent from the UK ‘green’ list.

“While transatlantic links with the US are restricted, it’s costing UK economy £23 million each day. We urge Prime Minister Johnson and President Biden to lead the way in opening the skies, making it a top priority at the G7 Summit.”

BA Chairman and CEO Sean Doyle called on the UK to make the traffic light system ‘fit for purpose’.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “We cannot continue to keep locked up indefinitely. Politicians should seize on the successful vaccination programmes in our two countries to begin looking to a future where we manage COVID rather than letting it manage us.”

The group has encouraged the US government to consider lifting entry requirements for UK travellers who have provided a negative COVID test ahead of arriving in the US or are fully vaccinated or can present proof of recovery.

On the UK side, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was asked to consider removing the need for travellers returning to the UK from green list countries to complete an expensive and time-consuming PCR test on their arrival, instead calling for lateral flow tests, used in care homes and schools, with only positive tests requiring a PCR test.

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