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Airlines Call For Opening Before G7 On 11 June

It was hoped that it might happen in May, after President Biden cited May as the month when U.K. travelers might be once again allowed into the U.S.–but hopes were dashed when the CDC upgraded the U.K. to a category 4, ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory level at the end of April.

Now, however, the hope is on June. In a joint letter to Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and to President Biden, a large group of aviation industry heavy hitters have called on both countries to reopen the transatlantic routes before the upcoming meeting of G7 countries in Cornwall, England, which starts on 11 June. President Biden will attend in his first international trip since taking office.

A group of 48 industry groups, led by Virgin Atlantic, have written a joint letter addressing both leaders. Bloomberg reported that the letter said that we are confident that the right tools now exist to enable a safe and meaningful restart to transatlantic travel. Safely reopening borders between the U.S. and U.K. is essential for both countries’ economic recovery from Covid-19.” With high vaccination rates in both countries and testing procedures in place, they see no reason why both countries couldn’t restart travel before the G7 summit.

The 48 groups comprise unions, airlines, lobby groups, airports and other related aviation and tourism organisations from both countries who hope to get some of the most lucrative routes up and running after more than a year of pandemic levels. Flight Global reported that the signatories include Airlines for America (A4A), Virgin Atlantic, Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) and London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports, the latter two being the primary gateways into the U.K. for U.S. visitors.

Virgin Atlantic’s CEO, Shai Weiss, sees no reason why the U.S. shouldn’t be included on the U.K.’s list of safe countries, to which travel can resume safely on 17 May.

Many industry insiders, however, don’t believe that the U.S. will be on the U.K.’s green list when it is announced soon. More likely, the U.S. will be on the “amber” list (where quarantine will remain in place) until late June, at which point it will be added to the green list.


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