Airlines are urging the US and UK governments to start a passenger testing trial for the coronavirus for flights between London and New York. In order to resume more international travel.
However, in a letter to government transportation officials, the chief executives of Airlines for America, Airlines UK, Heathrow Airport, and Virgin Atlantic Airways said both governments should “establish passenger testing solutions in air travel.
“We believe that in the immediate absence of a vaccine. Testing of passengers in aviation provides the best and most effective frontline defense.”
Moreover, they are urging the governments to establish a testing trial between New York and London by month’s end. “To gather real-world evidence and data.”
Plans For International Travel
Sharon Pinkerton, senior vice president at Airlines for America, which represents American Airlines Co, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines. And others told reporters on Thursday the industry wanted a pilot program to help boost international travel.
However, U.S. international travel has dropped by 87% during the coronavirus pandemic. And the airline industry is under a financial crisis.
“One of the key steps to recovery is setting up an international pilot program between the U.S. and either Europe, Canada, somewhere in the Pacific,” she said, saying that could help eliminate some of the international quarantines now in place.
The U.S. Transportation Department said it “stands ready to support the safe resumption of international flights between the U.S. and Europe. Conversations are ongoing between the federal government, international partners, and industry stakeholders on these matters.”
However, in March, U.S. President Donald Trump restricted most non-U.S. citizens who had been in the UK recently from entering the United States. But these restrictions also imposed on travelers in the European Union and China.
But Americans are allowed to travel to the UK but have been required since spring to spend two weeks in quarantine on arrival.
The Pandemic Effect
Air travel was slowly rebounding during the summer holiday season. And airlines were adding more flights to their future schedule but things are not the same anymore.
In the US there is a drop in air travel by 80% as people are still not traveling due to restrictions imposed by many countries.
However, many airlines believe that air travel will not return to pre COVID level until 2024.