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BALPA calls for a ‘four nations’ approach to re-opening air travel

BALPA has written to the leaders of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Governments urging a coordinated, UK-wide, four-nations approach to re-opening air travel.

The UK Government announced this week that the Global Travel Taskforce would reconvene and consider the reopening of international travel from England with a report due by 12 April and that safe international travel could recommence from 17 May.

The UK Government has said that it hopes the Global Travel Taskforce will take a ‘four-nations’ approach to reopening air travel. BALPA strongly supports this objective and has written to the First Ministers of the devolved administrations to urge cross-UK cooperation.

Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary, said, “It is vital that we find a way to safely reopen air travel. We know there is huge pent-up demand from the public to get flying again. And we know that the UK’s vaccine roll-out, combined with airlines’ Covid safety measures and potentially other elements such as vaccine ‘passports’ could pave the way to summer holidays abroad.

“The announcement of the Global Travel Taskforce’s timetable gave some much-needed hope to the aviation industry. I urge Ministers in the Westminster, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Governments to work together so there is a unified four-nations approach to reopening travel so that the whole of the UK can benefit from the restarting of this vital industry.”