Air Bridges – A New Normal to Travel

Air traveling

Many airline and hospitality companies in the UK have already been dealing with low demand due to the pandemic. 

On the other hand, lack of air bridges will make it difficult for their businesses to recover. They have been protesting against the government’s restrictions of 14-day quarantine on arrival to the UK. But, they have received “private assurances” that air bridges will be introduced from June 29th, 2020.

The government’s decision not to have air bridges is to protect against the second wave of coronavirus. 

Airlines and Hospitality Firms Appeal

Moreover, almost 500 businesses have appealed to the ministers to approve the introduction of air bridges. Consequently, these will allow travelers to come from other countries not to self-quarantine for two weeks.

These travelers will be from the countries where the number of affected people by coronavirus is supposedly low. 

Meanwhile, spokesman for the Quash Quarantine coalition, Paul Charles said they received private assurances from senior Government sources about travel corridor implementation from June 29th

In addition, he said, “We urge the Government to signal to the travel industry publicly and urgently that this is the case. As well as amend FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) advice on non-essential travel.” 

Further, he added, “The group, which includes travel firm Inghams and Travel Republic and London hotels the Ritz and the Dorchester, is considering whether to take its own legal action against the measures. Or join the proceedings launched by British Airways. But would prefer that air bridges are confirmed as soon as possible.” 

“The industry needs urgent visibility on a timetable for travel to begin again,” he said.

Strict Policy

People arriving in the UK will have to fill out a form. An online locator form in which they will have to give their contact and travel details. Also the address of where they will self-quarantine. 

Moreover, if anyone fails to follow the rules will be charged with a fine of £1,000 in England. And the police have permission to use “reasonable force” to make sure everyone follows the rules. 

Border Force officers are keeping a check on people arriving. They have the right not to allow a non-resident foreign national entry if they refuse to abide by the regulations. 

Moreover, there is a £100 penalty charges for people who fail to complete the locator form. But, implementing this policy for the first time created chaos and confusion for the passengers. The passengers had to face queues in order to fill the forms at the last minute. 

The officials will be reviewing the policy every three weeks, with the first taking place by June 29th.

Aviation Industry Layoff’s

Moreover, Heathrow Airport’s Chief Executive also said, that Heathrow Airport will be losing 25,000 jobs if the government does not ease the quarantine rules or establish air bridges, with in the next two weeks. 

British Airways is planning up to 12,000 redundancies, while Virgin Atlantic has announced more than 3,000 job cuts, Ryanair at least 3,000 and easy Jet plans to slash around 4,500 posts. 

Airlines were already suffering losses due to the pandemic. This decision of the government has further made it difficult for the industry to cope up with their businesses.

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