WORLD
Airlines and holiday companies plan day of action against UK travel rules
Pilots and cabin crew will converge on central London on June 23
Passenger numbers in the UK have dropped by about 73 per cent since the coronavirus outbreak began. Reuters
Neil Murphy
Jun 20, 2021
Britain's airlines and holiday companies are planning a day of action on June 23 to increase pressure on the government to ease travel restrictions, with weeks to go before the start of the peak summer season.
Travel companies, whose finances have been stretched during the pandemic, want to avoid another summer lost to Covid-19.
But that seems unlikely because of the strict quarantine requirements in place in Britain.
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As the clock ticks down to July, Europe's biggest airline Ryanair and Manchester Airports Group on Thursday launched legal action to try to get the government to ease the rules before the industry's most profitable season starts.
On June 23, pilots, cabin crew and travel agents will gather in Westminster, central London, and at airports across Britain to try to drum up support.
Britain's aviation industry has been hit harder by the pandemic than its European peers, according to data published by the British Airline Pilots Association on Sunday.
That showed daily arrivals and departures into the UK were down 73 per cent on an average day this month compared with figures before the pandemic, the biggest drop in Europe.
Pedestrians walk past an electronic board displaying information relating to a 'variant of concern in the area' in Blackburn, north-west England. AFP (AFP)
"There is no time to hide behind task forces and reviews," said Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton.
"Balpa is demanding that the UK government gets its act together and opens the US routes and European holiday travel destinations that it has blocked with no published evidence at all."
More than 45,000 jobs have been lost in UK aviation, with estimates suggesting that 860,000 aviation, travel and tourism jobs are being sustained only by government furlough initiatives.
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