British airlines on Thursday pressed the UK government to introduce CCP virus testing by the end of the month instead of quarantine, in what they described as a "last chance" to save the industry
Airlines UK, an industry body representing British Airways (BA), easyJet, Ryanair Virgin Atlantic, TUI, Jet2, and others, said action to replace the 14-day quarantine currently in place for travelers entering the UK from countries with high rates of the CCP virus was needed before the end of September.
"The stakes could not be higher. We risk economic ruin otherwise."
Rescue MeasuresAirlines UK suggested a COVID-19 test following a five-day quarantine on arrival into the UK "offers a credible balance between protecting public health and increasing demand for air travel."
They also suggested a trial of testing on arrival and on day-five of quarantine on certain routes be implemented to "give Ministers the reassurance that a one-test on arrival system is safe."
'Grasp This Last Chance'Airlines UK said the industry was facing its biggest crisis in decades, with recovery to 2019 levels not expected until at least 2023.
“We are an island and there’s no option but to fly,” UK Airlines wrote, citing the need to preserve the "world-beating connectivity" the airline industry facilitates for the UK.
"You must grasp this last chance to save the aviation industry, and with it so much prosperity across the UK," Airlines UK said.
“With 79 percent of international visitors to the UK arriving by air, we play a vital role in supporting half a million jobs across leisure, retail, hospitality, and entertainment,” Airlines UK said.
“Our cities, high streets, and world-class attractions will simply not recover until they return.”
Further job losses are expected in the winter across the UK aviation sector, traditionally the travel industry's weaker season.