The volume of traffic on popular and frequently traveled routes between the US and the United Kingdom are key sign-posts signaling the revitalization of global air travel
Airline CEO’s are ramping up pressure to bring back air travel between the United States and Britain and have asked for a summit to discuss ways to make this happen.
Some of the current barriers to the free flow of air travel are the U.S. currently bars the entry of most non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents traveling from Britain, while U.S. visitors face a 10-day quarantine upon entering the U.K. The executives pointed to the rise in Covid vaccinations as greatly reducing travel risk and pointed to the economic benefits of reopening travel. *
“Public health must guide the reopening of international air travel and we are confident that the aviation industry possesses the right tools, based on data and science, to enable a safe and meaningful restart to transatlantic travel,” said the letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary and his U.K. counterpart. U.S. and UK citizens would benefit from the significant testing capability and the successful trials of digital applications to verify health credentials.”
They also called on Biden to use the upcoming G-7 summit, scheduled for August 24-26 in Biarritz, France, to seek commitments from the leaders of other wealthy nations to developing a global framework for the safe reopening of international travel, encompassing COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, recovery status, and digital health passports.
In addition to establishing a travel corridor between the US and UK, the CEOs urged Biden to form a public-private task force beginning this May. The task force would guide the administration to develop a risk-based, data-driven roadmap outlining steps to lift travel restrictions between the US and other low-risk countries by July 1.
The letter was signed by the CEOs of Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and JetBlue Airways, which aims to launch U.S.-U.K. service this summer, and U.S. industry group Airlines for America.
The U.K.’s Department for Transport didn’t immediately comment.
*In the US, approximately 58.5% of adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker. Vaccine doses have been administered to more than 38 million people in the UK, representing more than half of that country’s population, according to UK government data.