14:33 GMT15 April 2021
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    The aviation industry has been hammered throughout the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic last year and the subsequent restrictions imposed on non-essential travel. However, as the vaccination rollout accelerates in the UK and elsewhere, airline leaders are calling for governments to loosen the stringent measures.

    The head of British Airways (BA) said on Sunday that those vaccinated against coronavirus should be permitted to travel internationally without restrictions.

    Sean Doyle, BA’s new Chief Executive, urged the British government to work with other governments to look to resuming non-essential travel ahead of Westminster's roadmap to lifting regulations.

    “I think people who’ve been vaccinated should be able to travel without restriction. Those who have not been vaccinated should be able to travel with a negative test result”, he said.

    Doyle said he is optimistic that BA could be operating this summer due to the rapid pace of the vaccine roll-out, but added the firm's recovery depends would depend on 12 April, where the government will unveil how and when non-essential travel into and out of the country will be able to start up again.

    The CEO, who ascended to BA's top position in October, stressed that the government should promote health apps in order to verify a person’s negative results as well as vaccination status.

    His comments come as British Airways announced it will introduce digital vaccine passports in time for the planned reopening of international travel by the government's earliest deadline in May.

    Europe’s biggest airline and BA rival, Ryanair, has said it hopes to fly up to 70% of the 2019 passenger number this summer.

    Some countries such as Iceland, Poland, Seychelles, are already allowing vaccinated travelers to visit without being subject to quarantine on arrival.

    Previously, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that holidays for UK travelers will not take place until May 17th at the earliest. However, due to the rising rates of vaccination around the world, there is increasing pressure to drop restrictions fast.

    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US) does not currently suggest traveling even with a vaccine but they have also stated the guidelines will come under review once further scientific data emerges after the inoculation rollout. 

    BA has suffered immensely as a result of the collapse in demand for international travel and restrictions on movement between countries. The firm, which is among the largest in the world, has lost hundreds of millions of pounds and seen around 10,000 employees laid off.

    Tags:
    British Airways, Vaccine, coronavirus, COVID-19
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