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BALPA welcomes the lifting of the US-UK travel ban as a major breakthough for the aviation industry

The British Airline Pilots’ Association has welcomed the reduction in restrictions announced by the Transport Secretary today and hopes this will be a major step in regaining public confidence in international travel.

But BALPA has highlighted the difficulty the cash strapped industry now faces as it tries to ramp up to meet demand. Many pilots remain furloughed and systems and training must be in place to ensure a safe return to operations to meet the increased demand.

BALPA Acting General Secretary Martin Chalk said:

“We are delighted the Government has heard our calls and recognised the importance of reducing restrictions and opening up vital transatlantic routes. This announcement will help UK aviation to rebuild after the devastating summer and will provide a much needed boost to public confidence.

“But it is important the Government does not underestimate the challenges the sector faces. Aviation was the first in to lockdown and the last out and with little to no flying for such a long time the industry is clearly cash strapped.

“Now we have a chance to get flying again… but it is not cheap to do so. We need to ensure the systems and training are in place so that skilled workers can reskill and operations can resume in a safety conscious manner.

“That’s why we still need investment now to ensure we are ready to make the most of the increased demand and are able to compete with our global competitors.”