19 OCTOBER 2020
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One of a number of speakers with essentially the same message, Virgin Atlantic boss Shai Weiss used the ABTA Travel Convention to criticise the Government for its lack of support for the industry and the way it has dealt with the quarantine restrictions.
As for the Government’s new global travel task force, he made the point “it should probably have come earlier,” adding “any one of us could have done things better, quicker and more decisively.”
Virgin Atlantic has begun trialling the testing of its staff pre-departure on several routes. Results are available in 30min and have led to two asymptomatic cases being identified to date.
“Our team is now reviewing all the opportunities out there for rapid point-of-care testing pre-departure to allow the UK economy to take off,” he said echoing Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye’s words over the last few weeks.
“This is going to be passenger-paid …… and the cost will come down rapidly. We’re cooperating with Heathrow and Collinson – they’re ready and waiting. We’re looking at the best standards that will give customers confidence to fly and governments to know that planes and travel and tourism do not bring infections with them.”
“The US has been closed to non-US nationals and non-US residents since March so we’re looking at other destinations,” citing Pakistan as an example. Virgin later in the day announced Delhi and Mumbai as new Manchester destinations straight into the New Year.
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