Monday, 26 Oct 2020

Airlines prepare for return as 160,000 flights set to take off in July

Airlines in the UK are preparing to return to work with 160,000 flights with room for a whopping 29.5million passengers set to take off in July, it has been reported.

Plans for people arriving in the UK to quarantine for two weeks before they are allowed to go about their business are due to come into force on June 8.

But according to reports, there are said to be rumblings the government could change this plan when the quarantine is reviewed on June 29.

A senior industry source told The Telegraph: "The sense is that they might quietly do a U-turn after the first review period.

"Grant Shapps [Transport Secretary] is against quarantine, the Treasury are against it, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is against it and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport hate it."

Flights for July are scheduled, which means they are subject to change if lockdown measures are not eased.

Britain does not feature on Greece's list of 29 countries it has deemed safe enough to accept tourists from. However it is reviewing the list at the end of June.

Other countries which could also become potential destinations under the "holiday corridor" proposals include Portugal, Spain, Italy, Turkey and Greece, according to reports.

  • Summer hols to Europe could be back next month after Portugal quarantine update

Brits may still be able to visit during the last two weeks of June, but they will be subject to mandatory testing on arrival and a period of quarantine depending on the results.

Spain's tourism minister Maria Reyes Maroto has said that Britain's infection rate "still has to improve", before it will begin to allow visitors, according to The Mirror.

Spain is set to reopen its borders fully on July 1. Speaking to Spanish media about the possibility of Brits visiting beforehand, the senior Spanish minister said: "There the health situation still has to improve.

"For us it is important to guarantee that people arrive health and leave healthy."

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  • In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, RyanAir boss Michael O’Leary predicted quarantine rules for passengers would be "quietly dropped" or "formally withdrawn" by the end of June because they won’t work.

    He said: "You can fill up your arrival card as Mickey Mouse, 1 Walt Disney Street, London SW22 – they’ll take the cards and off you go. So it’s a complete shambles.

    "The Home Office, Border Force and police will all tell you quietly, and off the record, it [quarantine] is completely unimplementable."

    According to The Sunday Telegraph, RyanAir is hoping to ramp up flights to at least 40 per cent of its usual July schedule, while EasyJet hopes to run 30 per cent of its timetable from July to September.

    British Airways, which has announced up to 12,000 redundancies as a result of the coronavirus crisis is also expected to return.

    The Airport Operators Association says it is waiting for government guidance on how flights can travel safely with the correct social distancing measures in place.

    A spokesman told the Sunday Telegraph: "Once these guidelines are agreed and given that they are based on a common European baseline, this puts in place the right conditions for opening up air bridges to low-risk countries."

    When asked if July holidays could be a possibility for Brits earlier this week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I absolutely wouldn't rule it out, we've got to proceed cautiously, we've seen what happens when this virus gets out of control and we have as a country managed to get it back under control and protected the NHS."

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