Daily Management Review

Vaccinated Travellers Should Be Allowed To Travel Without Restrictions, Says British Airways


Vaccinated Travellers Should Be Allowed To Travel Without Restrictions, Says British Airways
Those people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 should be allowed to travel without any restrictions while those who are not should travel with a negative Covid-19 yes report, said the new boss of British Airways as he explained his ideas about restarting travel. The United Kingdom is set to finalise its travel plans in about a month’s time.
The UK government has said that it would allow holidays to be taken by residents not before May 17. But how and when non-essential travel into and out of the country can resume will be announced by the government April 12.
The UK government should be working in close coordination with other governments for allowing vaccines and health apps to open up the travel sector following a year when pandemic related travel restrictions have hit airlines all over the world very hard, said Sean Doyle, who was appointed as BA's chief executive last October.
"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 was optimistic that BA should be able to restart commercial flights this summer because of the roll out of Covid-19 vaccines, he said and add that what the government announces on April 12 in its travel plans would determine the time and pace of recovery.
The British government should be supporting the use of health apps which can be used for verification of the Covid-19 test results and vaccination status for a traveller, which in turn can help restarting of the travel industry, he said.
The airline industry has said that the key for facilitating travel at scale were apps related ot Covid-19 test reports and vaccinations. It takes about 20 minutes per passenger for airline staff to check paperwork and which will not be practical when larger number of passengers return.  
Covid-19 vaccination has been aggressively rolled out by the British government and first vaccine shots have been given to about 44 per cent of the adult population of the country which primary is comprised of people over 60 years.
Any return to travel plan should be equitable and not tilted in the favour of those who have been vaccinated, the British government has said.
The UK government would most probably launch a tiered framework for travelling with travel destinations being categorised depending on the risks involved, said Doyle, and such a policy of the government will also determine the travel schedule of BA through the summer.
While declining to forecast how strong the season could be, Doyle said that there was "huge pent up demand".
Europe’s biggest airline in terms of passengers carried - budget airline and BEA rival Ryanair has said that it hopes it would be to fly about 70 per cent of the number of passengers it had flown in 2019 this summer.
BA has struck a deal with a testing kit provider giving its passengers 33 pound ($46) tests to take abroad.
"We're already looking at new destinations over the summer that we haven't flown to before, and that could be across both long haul and short haul," Doyle said.