The importance of domestic and international travel to the economic prospects of individual businesses and the wider economy has been highlighted in a new report, produced by industry specialist WPI Strategy. According to the company, the report reveals that the majority of UK business leaders see air travel as key to their future economic prospects, and would return to the skies if quarantine measures were eased.
Based on polling of 515 business leaders by Survation, 64% of UK business leaders see air travel as key to their future prospects, while 88% of businesses with over 250 employees believe air travel is important to the future success of their business. 48% of respondents felt that the UK government’s travel and quarantine restrictions were the single biggest barrier to business air travel, with 76% believing that airport testing would increase confidence when travelling.
Responding to these figures, London City Airport has urged the new UK Global Travel Taskforce to move quickly to get business air travel up and running again. Airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said that he hoped the group would “acknowledge the fundamental importance of business air travel to the economic recovery prospects of the UK and other sectors such as hospitality and leisure”. Sinclair urged the Taskforce to move with the utmost speed to set out a clear roadmap for the introduction of a testing regime that would ultimately lead to the elimination of quarantine.
This call was also supported by KLM, which operates services from its global hub in Amsterdam to 15 airports across the UK. Warner Rootliep, managing director of KLM Cityhopper, commented, “KLM has a long-standing commitment to serve the UK regions. We have rebuilt our regional presence in the UK over the last few months, reopening all routes. Connecting the UK regions to the world through our hub in AMS is of vital importance to the regional economy of these communities, especially in these challenging times.
“We hope the Taskforce will be able to define a roadmap that will allow us to eliminate the quarantine measures and reinstall travel confidence so that we can continue to rebuild our regional frequencies that are so vital for the regional economy.”
Sinclair concluded, “We sincerely hope that the Global Travel Taskforce both acknowledges how fundamental business travel is, and moves quickly to introduce a roadmap for aviation which sets out how a testing regime can be implemented quickly. Doing so could deliver a much-needed shot in the arm for business air travel, boosting economic growth across every region and every sector.”