The site visitors gentle system and journey restrictions imply the aviation sector within the UK is recovering at simply half the speed of the remainder of Europe.
That’s in keeping with Karen Sensible, managing director at Manchester Airport, who is asking for modifications to the present set-up.
The airport has printed passenger figures for July, which present that passenger ranges had been 86 per cent down on July 2019, when the airport served 3,178,505 passengers, in comparison with simply 447,954 in the identical month this 12 months.
The airport mentioned that for the reason that evaluation of the site visitors gentle system on August 4th – which noticed extra international locations added to the inexperienced and amber lists – volumes have picked up barely however stay considerably under pre-pandemic ranges.
With simply three weeks of the height summer season season remaining, Sensible mentioned the requirement for passengers to pay for PCR checks, even when absolutely vaccinated and getting back from low-risk locations, was “out of step” with the remainder of Europe and holding again the restoration of UK airports and airways.
The newest site visitors figures come as information from Airports Council Worldwide – Europe (ACI Europe) has laid naked the extent to which the UK is out of step with the remainder of the continent when it comes to the revival of worldwide journey.
Figures present that Europe’s airports are serving round 59 per cent of pre-pandemic site visitors, in comparison with simply 28 per cent within the UK.
The blanket requirement for PCR testing and pre-departure testing differs dramatically to the strategy taken by most European international locations, that are permitting absolutely vaccinated passengers to journey between low-risk locations with out having to take any checks.
The federal government has mentioned PCR testing is required to allow genomic sequencing to happen to establish variants of concern, however the newest official information reveals solely round 5 per cent are literally being despatched for sequencing and brings into query the necessity for passengers to take these checks.
Whereas the federal government has requested the Competitors & Markets Authority to look into the testing trade to see if there are methods to cut back costs, this information highlights the necessity to scrap the blanket requirement for PCR checks altogether for vaccinated travellers to make journey extra reasonably priced.
Sensible continued: “Whereas it’s encouraging that extra individuals are taking the chance to go on vacation or go to family and friends abroad, we’re nonetheless but to see a significant restoration in worldwide journey.
“We received’t see a correct sustained restoration till the UK overhauls its pricey and restrictive journey regime, which is out of step with the remainder of Europe.
“UK passengers proceed to be subjected to onerous and costly PCR testing on the idea they are going to be sequenced to guard the UK from variants of concern, however it’s clear this isn’t occurring.
“Passengers – particularly those that are absolutely vaccinated – will probably be proper to query why they’re pressured to pay the additional value for checks which aren’t being utilized in the best way we had been advised they’d be.”
She added: “In the meantime, the restoration of our sector – which helps hundreds of thousands of jobs of billions of kilos in financial worth – continues to lag considerably behind the remainder of Europe on account of extreme restrictions in place within the UK.
“We’d like a easy and sustainable system for journey, which individuals can perceive and that’s proportionate to the general public well being place right here within the UK.
“The federal government should act urgently to evaluation the system and re-evaluate the necessity for costly PCR checks.”