The CEOs of the airlines that offer U.K.-U.S. passenger services – American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic – joined with Heathrow Airport (LHR) and other industry stakeholders this week in calling for the re-opening of transatlantic travel, a move they say is essential to igniting economic recovery.
The top leaders in aviation and travel came together ahead of the G7 meeting in Cornwall later to push for the reopening of the U.K. – U.S. travel corridor, arguing that the successful vaccination programs in both the U.K. and U.S. have created a clear opportunity to safely open up travel between these two low-risk countries.
“The millions of travel-supported U.S. jobs lost to the pandemic cannot be replaced without the return of international visitors, and the U.K. is our No. 1 overseas travel market,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “Advancing a science-driven approach to restart international travel is crucial, and a U.S.-U.K. 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.”
The group has encouraged the U.S. government to consider lifting entry requirements for U.K. travelers who have provided a negative COVID test ahead of arriving in the U.S. or are fully vaccinated or can present proof of recovery.
“Connectivity between the U.K. and the U.S. is one of the great engines of the global economy,” said John Holland-Kaye, LHR CEO. “The scientific data shows transatlantic travel and trade can be reopened safely and every day that policymakers delay puts jobs, livelihoods and the economic chances of hardworking folks across our countries at risk unnecessarily. We cannot continue to keep locked-up indefinitely.”