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UK travel industry sends distress call to government, urging for border reopening

Representatives of the travel industry in the UK attended demonstrations Wednesday 23 June demanding the government to take urgent action to safely reopen the sector, in time for the summer season.

Representatives of the travel industry in the UK attended demonstrations Wednesday 23 June demanding the government to take urgent action to safely reopen the sector, in time for the summer season.

The protest in front of Parliament in London gathered hundreds of travel agents, pilots, tour guides, cabin crew and other employees of the aviation sector, asking for solutions for the survival of the industry.

They urged authorities to ease restrictions to international travel; by expanding the green list, and removing testing and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers returning from green and amber locations, as well as provide financial support adapted to the needs of the industry.

Andrew Gammon, a British Airways captain pilot, insisted on the need for “a safe and sensible reopening of the skies.”

Emma Brennan, an Association of British Travel Agents representatives, told Efe the sector feels “like a forgotten child.”

She said they understand the importance of restrictions to safeguard public health, but accused the government of providing “a lack of support” to travel agencies throughout the crisis.

UK Travel

The demonstrators also want an extension of the furlough schemes, considering the travel sector has underperformed financially and is recovering at a slower pace than other businesses.

According to a report by Sky News, UK industry body ABTA estimates that 195,000 travel jobs have been lost or are at risk as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The latest figures reported by the British Airline Pilots Association reveal that British aviation was the hardest hit in Europe.

Source: AAP