Representatives for the aviation industry have written to Grant Shapps to demand that travel restrictions be scrapped for those who are double vaccinated.
In a letter to the Transport Secretary, Airlines UK and the Airport Operators Association (AOA) said that the UK was lagging behind the rest of Europe in terms of the sector’s recovery.
With the furlough scheme set to end this month, they warned that many thousands of jobs could be lost in the coming months without changes.
The submission comes ahead of the government’s planned review of the travel traffic light system. Reports have already emerged that the “green” and “amber” lists are set to be scrapped.
Instead, those who have received two doses of a Covid-19 will reportedly be able to travel without restriction to countries with similar rates of inoculation.
A “red list” of countries with low vaccination rates will remain.
While airline traffic in Europe is currently sitting at about 70 per cent of pre-Covid levels, the UK is still lagging behind at 50 per cent, according to data from Eurocontrol.
Meanwhile, nearly 60 per cent of aviation workers remain on the furlough scheme, the highest proportion of any UK industry.
In a statement, Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade and AOA chief executive Karen Dee said: “While the rest of the economy has been able to reopen without restrictions, UK aviation continues to operate with complex and burdensome restrictions, such as the sky-high cost of testing. As a result, aviation is unique in having had a worse summer this year than last.
“It’s time the Government recognises the disproportionate burdens on aviation. Fully vaccinated people should be able to travel without restrictions or testing. This would match the approach to domestic travel but also aligns us with our European competitors. It would provide greater certainty to travellers while keeping variants of concern at bay through the continuation of a red list.”
City A.M. has contacted the DfT for comment.