London Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye is adamant that a revival of commercial aviation will be key to delivering the UK government’s vision of a Global Britain, despite continuing punishment of the sector due to Covid-19 related restrictions. In Heathrow’s case, 2020 saw a 72.7% fall in passenger numbers, with December suffering an 82.9% drop compared with December 2019.
Although the UK will shortly introduce a pre-departure testing requirement for incoming travelers, a lack of joined-up international thinking on the harmonization of testing standards appears to remain.
“The past year has been incredibly challenging for aviation,” said Holland-Kaye. “While we support tightening border controls temporarily by introducing pre-departure testing for international arrivals, as well as quarantine, this is not sustainable. The aviation industry is the cornerstone of the UK economy but is fighting for survival.
“We need a roadmap out of this lockdown, and a full waiver of business rates. This is an opportunity for the government to show leadership in creating a Common International Standard for pre-departure testing that will allow travel and trade to restart safely so that we can start to deliver the Prime Minister’s vision of a Global Britain.”