BA owner lists four priorities for travel restart
Written by Gavin on 7th May 2021
The parent firm of British Airways (BA) has demanded government action in “four key areas” to help facilitate the restart of foreign travel while revealing a reduction in first quarter losses.
International Airlines Group (IAG) argued that the authorities globally needed to assist airlines begin the process of economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis through measures to encourage ease of travel.
Speaking hours before the UK was due to outline which countries it would allow its citizens to fly to, in an easing of restrictions expected from 17 May, IAG said travel corridors without restrictions should be allowed between countries with successful vaccination rollouts.
It singled out the UK and US as examples.
The company’s list also demanded:
• Affordable, simple and proportionate testing to replace quarantine and costly, multi-layered testing.
• Well-staffed borders using contactless technology including e-gates to ensure a safe, smooth flow of people and frictionless travel.
• Digital passes for testing and vaccination documentation to facilitate international travel.
The industry has been keen to make its voice heard in recent weeks in the hope key holiday markets can be opened up following a horrific 16 months for airlines globally as the pandemic wreaked havoc on demand.
In the case of IAG, it has cut 13,000 jobs at BA alone, cut inefficient aircraft such as 747 jumbo jets and raise money at pace to bolster cash reserves.
The group, which also includes Iberia and Aer Lingus in its stable of carriers, reported losses after tax of €1.1bn (£954m) for the first three months of the year.
It represented an improvement on the €1.7bn loss figure reported for the same period last year as the sector grappled the first few months of disruption.