12 JULY 2021


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Article from BTNews 12 JULY 2021

North Atlantic “No News”

Whilst things are improving regarding short-haul air travel into Europe the situation regarding the North Atlantic, and one of the world’s busiest and lucrative air routes, between London and New York, remains uncertain.

Despite the lobbying efforts of carriers on both sides of the Atlantic, which intensified before and during the G7 leaders' meeting in Cornwall last month, no firm plans to re-open are forthcoming.

The British and US Governments agreed on a taskforce aimed at relaunching air travel between the two nations as soon as possible.  Progress remains frustratingly slow for operators pinning their recovery hopes on a full summer resumption.

A month on, a re-opened US-UK air corridor remains no more than a work in progress.

The UK has eased quarantine requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers from 19 July on returning to England. But this applies only to UK residents.  See Amber list revised in this week’s BTN.

While a step forward for airlines, they urge further action. ”The Government’s announcement should now lead to significant changes to the green list from next week and further relaxation of testing requirements for fully-vaccinated passengers of all nationalities arriving into the UK from green and amber destinations from 31 July,” says Shai Weiss, Chief Executive, Virgin Atlantic.

In the meantime Virgin, British Airways and Heathrow Airport are to carry out fast track proving trials for some flights, notably including the key New York route, aimed at demonstrating the ability of the airport to deal efficiently with fully vaccinated travellers entering the UK.  The NHS app, a US-issued CDC card, US state digital certifications and the EU digital Covid certificate are accepted.

Numerous US trade organisations are urging the US Government to ease restrictions on foreign visitors before the end of the traditionally busy summer holiday travel season. It is at least the fourth appeal from the industry in as many months to persuade the Government to rethink restrictions.


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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum

John Richmond, Lochwinnoch UK

Lack of fligts between the UK and North Atlantic is a great loss to the tourist trade.

phil August, London

I for one am completely lost re visiting New York from London. I used to do it four times a year for family and business reasons. My last trip was February 2020.