‘Day of action’ for the UK travel industry

British travelers are being unfairly denied the summer getaway they deserve.

This is the message of Brittany ferry because the company supports ABTA’s ‘Day of Action’ alongside other travel industry players, including Aberdeen International Airport unand the Royal Aeronautical Society. They are calling on the UK government to clarify its position on reopening travel and to provide some support to the sector.

Brittany Ferries saw passenger numbers increase from 545,000 in 2019 to 242,000 last year. So far for 2021, bookings stand at 173,000 for the company, which offers trips from Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth to France and Spain.

A spokesperson for Brittany Ferries said: “The peak summer holiday season is just around the corner. Yet there is still no transparency in the application of the government’s traffic light system for international travel.

“For example, there is no clarity on the criteria by which a country can move from the amber list to the green. This created uncertainty among travel agencies and their customers, which hit summer bookings hard. “

Sir Brian Burridge, Executive Director of the Royal Aeronautical Society, said: “The Covid pandemic has already had a devastating effect on the aviation industry with little respite in sight and, with the prospect of a ‘lost summer’, further damage is inevitable.

“This, of course, has also had serious repercussions on the entire aerospace manufacturing sector, including negatively affecting supply chains and, ultimately, the economy as a whole.

“It is increasingly clear that the life-saving relief represented by a more active summer season that is so important to airlines, airports and air navigation service providers will not materialize universally due to continued travel restrictions. . Together, the aviation and tourism trade associations have an extremely strong case for direct government intervention and we support this position. “

Companies are calling for a safe and risk-managed return to travel and a tailored financial support package to help the industry during the crisis.

Aberdeen International Airport, which also supports the “Day of Action”, saw the number of passengers increase from 2.9 million in 2019 to just over one million last year and to 290,000 in the first five months of 2021 .

Director of Operations Mark Beveridge said: “As summer begins, the UK travel and tourism sectors are facing a critical moment. Before the pandemic, our industry was a cornerstone of the UK economy.

“Our airport remained open and operational to support reduced schedules including rescue routes to the Highlands and Islands, air ambulance flights and vital connectivity for key energy workers.

“Today, as the wider national economy reopens and moves closer to normalcy, Britain’s travel and tourism sectors remain essentially closed, mired in uncertainty and deeply concerned about our future.

“The traffic light system launched by the government has failed to revive international travel as promised. Rather than promoting safe travel wherever possible, the government seems more determined to prevent people from traveling and is ignoring the very risk-based system they have put in place.

“Supporting the travel industry now will help us position ourselves to ensure we can play a leading role in the UK’s long-term economic recovery. “

As part of the Day of Action, 800 people will gather outside Parliament in London, while 200 more will gather at Holyrood in Edinburgh and 100 in Belfast.

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