Top Airline Executives Call for Transatlantic Travel Corridor Reopening
DONALD WOOD | TravelPulse.Com
Troy Warren #travel-all
The chief executives from the top airlines offering passenger services between the United States and United Kingdom met on Monday to call for the reopening of transatlantic travel.
Leaders from American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic joined airport officials and other aviation CEOs ahead of the upcoming G7 meeting to push for the reopening of the U.S. and UK travel corridor.
Airline industry executives claim the world-leading vaccination programs provide the opportunity to safely reopen travel between the two countries, providing consumers the chance to reconnect with loved ones, re-establish business relationships and explore new destinations.
The CEOs urged both governments to take a data-driven and risk-based approach to reopening borders to travel after more than a year of travel restrictions that have deeply impacted trade and tourism between the U.S. and UK.
“Throughout the pandemic, experts have encouraged governments, businesses and the public to follow the science,” United CEO Scott Kirby said. “United and other airlines have done just that and implemented the necessary safety protocols to confidently reopen key international routes like the air corridor between our two countries.”
“Programs like the trials of COVID-free flights between Newark and Heathrow and the U.S. Department of Defense air filtration study conducted on board United aircraft not only contributed to the body of scientific knowledge, they have demonstrated the near non-existent rates of viral transmission aboard an aircraft,” Kirby continued. “And now, through mobile app, travelers can upload verified test results and vaccine records before international travel. All this with the successful leadership of vaccination efforts by both governments, no interests are served by delaying reopening of these essential air routes any longer. We are ready.”
Officials are pushing for the U.S. to be added to the UK’s “green list”—which means American travelers would no longer need to self-isolate on arrival—and asking the U.S. government to lift the 212F order to open up the transatlantic corridor for UK residents to enter.
A recent report from the U.S. Travel Association found that if international travelremains restricted, it would cost the American economy $325 billion in total losses and 1.1 million jobs by the end of 2021.
“The millions of travel-supported U.S. jobs lost to the pandemic cannot be replaced without the return of international visitors, and the UK is our No. 1 overseas travel market,” U.S. Travel Association President Roger Dow said. “Advancing a science-driven approach to restart international travel is crucial, and a US-UK corridor is a logical place to start because of the two countries’ excellent records on vaccinations and declining infections, as well as their strong relationship.”