Qatar Airways’ boss Akbar Al Baker has said he hopes that the new Omicron variant detected last week “will have a limited overall impact” on aviation’s recovery, with the “process of unlocking” continuing.
Delivering the keynote speech at the UK Aviation Club this afternoon, Al Baker – who has been at the helm of the Qatari carrier since 1997 – said that, with the global roll out of vaccines across the world and the implementation of enhanced biosafety measures, “our industry will be going back to its growth pattern very soon.”
“However, this growth must be accompanied by a consistent and coordinated relaxation of border restrictions, when adhering to biosafety measures is recommended by both the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the WHO.”
Al Baker’s comments come on the same day the UK has re-instated stricter rules for travellers to the UK.
Regardless of their vaccination status, all passengers entering the country from 4am this morning need to take a PCR test in the 48 hours upon arrival, isolating until they receive a negative result.
The rules – which were scrapped a month ago to help the industry with its recovery – have already caused bottlenecks at UK airports such as Heathrow, where people were seeing queueing to get their test as soon as they got off their planes.