Reopen transatlantic skies, airlines tell US
BRITISH AIRWAYS has joined forces with three of the world’s other biggest carriers to lobby Mike Pence, the US vice-president, for a return of transatlantic services as the crisis-hit industry fights to avoid collapse.
The bosses of BA owner IAG, Ger- many’s Lufthansa, American Airlines and United have written to Mr Pence and Ylva Johansson, the European home affairs commissioner, urging them to introduce a radical testing programme which can prevent the spread of Covid-19 and allow planes to fly. It is hoped that fast, accurate tests could prevent the need for quarantines.
Italy is already trialling a £10 test which gives results in 15 minutes and could be introduced at all its airports.
The letter, says: “Given the unquestioned importance of transatlantic air travel to the global economy as well as to the economic recovery of our businesses, we believe it is critical to find a way to reopen air services between the US and Europe.”
The vast majority of services to North America remain grounded.
Signed by Willie Walsh, the IAG chief executive, the letter continues: “Covid-19 testing is becoming more and more common throughout the world as a tool to avoid these other more intrusive measures.”
Meanwhile Ryanair closed its base at Frankfurt Hahn airport yesterday after German pilots rejected pay cuts.