Heathrow Airport has called for an expansion to the travel green list in the next government review in three weeks’ time, including the United States, to boost trade and reunite friends and family.
The number of passengers passing through Heathrow Airport was down by 92.1 per cent in April, compared to pre-pandemic figures.
After the worst ever financial year for aviation ended in March, there were little signs of improvement in April, with 6.2 million passengers lost during the month.
For the first four months of 2021, passenger numbers are down 85.1 per cent.
While Heathrow has welcomed the lifting of the travel ban from 17 May, it says the green list is “overly cautious, given the other controls in place on passengers travelling from low-risk countries”.
Brits will only be permitted to travel to 12 countries, including Portugal and Israel, from next week.
Analysts recently warned that British Airways’ fortunes are tied to the lucrative London to New York route reopening.
Heathrow said that the government should help people plan ahead by publishing an expected list of additional green list countries, to prevent high prices for last minute bookings.
John Holland-Kay, CEO of Heathrow Airport, said: “The government’s green list is very welcome, but they need to expand it massively in the next few weeks to include other low risk markets such as the United States, and remove the need for fully vaccinated passengers to take two expensive PCR tests.
“Border Force’s claims that “long queues in immigration are inevitable” smack of complacency – they are completely avoidable if ministers ensure that all desks are staffed at peak times.”