The first British tourists and business travellers since the March 2020 Trump White House ban are set to touch down in the US today, in a boost to long-haul airlines such as BA and Virgin Atlantic.
The London Heathrow to New York’s JFK airport was said to bring in around $1bn to British Airways pre-Covid, making it the most lucrative passenger airline route in the world.
However President Trump’s strict Covid travel bans stymied transatlantic air travel for nearly all Brits and the effective closure of one of its major markets heaped BA owner IAG with multi-billion-euro losses.
President Joe Biden announced in September the end of the travel ban for UK passengers for non-essential travel. Flights are effectively limited to the vaccinated.
BA rival Virgin Atlantic said it too had seen a jump in bookings once the reopening date was confirmed, with New York the most popular US destination.
Meanwhile,US hotels giant Hilton said it had seen a 63 per cent surge in bookings across its US sites since the end of the US travel ban was announced.