Executives from airlines on both sides of the pond pressed U.S. and UK leaders to reopen the UK-U.S. travel corridor, holding a press conference to make their case.
“Throughout the pandemic, experts have encouraged governments, businesses and the public to follow the science. United and other airlines have done just that,” said United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby.
The CEOs called on President Joseph Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “open the skies” during their forthcoming meeting at the G-7 this weekend.
The head of London’s Heathrow airport underscored the point that both the United States and the United Kingdom have had successful vaccination programs.
“These are the poster children of good vaccination programs,” said John Holland-Kaye, CEO of London’s Heathrow Airport. “There needs to be a prize for that.”
The prize Holland-Kaye referred to is ending the 15-month travel ban. Most travelers from the United States cannot visit Britain without quarantining for ten days upon arrival and U.K. residents aren’t allowed to enter the United States under a travel ban put into effect in the early days of the pandemic.
At a White House press briefing, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, however, that the United States does not have a timetable for lifting the travel restrictions.
“We have heard very clearly the desire of our friends in Europe and the U.K. to be able to reopen travel across the Atlantic Ocean, and we want to see that happen,” he said. “But we have to follow the science, and we have to follow the guidance of our public health professionals. We’re actively engaging them to determine the time frame.”
(Photo: Accura Media Group)