Travel leaders are urging the Government to consider summer air bridges and have provided a 'wish-list' of 10 countries with which to secure agreements in a letter to the home secretary and foreign secretary.
Following the confirmation that all UK arrivals would be subject to a 14-day quarantine, starting June 8, The Advantage Travel Partnership – the UK’s largest independent travel agent and travel management company consortium – has written a follow-up letter to Priti Patel and Dominic Raab with a proposed list of air bridges "to allow the industry to get back on its feet after a prolonged period of stalemate during lockdown".
Air bridges are bilateral travel agreements between countries that circumvent quarantine measures.
The letter, focusing on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's endorsement of air bridges between England and other countries, states:
Whilst we were disappointed given the clear damage it will do to the travel industry; we were heartened by the promise that air bridges would be considered in the future. The Prime Minister also endorsed the idea of air bridges yesterday between England and other countries without the need for quarantine. A glimmer of hope!
The establishment of air bridges sooner rather than later is critical to allow the industry to get back on its feet after a prolonged period of stalemate during lockdown. However, whilst we welcome air bridges they will only work if the FCO ban on travel is reviewed in conjunction with their creation. It is the ultimate chicken and egg situation, and without the FCO ban revoked (even if it is just to those destinations with air bridges as a phased approach) the industry will lack the appropriate tools to sell holidays with confidence and their customers will have no recourse to adequate insurance.
Advantage Travel Partnership recently conducted an extensive consumer research survey with over four thousand respondents on the most popular destinations Britons are considering for a holiday this summer pending the removal of restrictions. Together with intelligence from our industry partners, sales figures from 2019, and based on potential routes ready to fly and tour operators ready with packages to sell, we have created our wish list of air bridges for your consideration.
The wish-list includes: Spain, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Cyprus, Portugal, France, Iceland, Egypt, Malta