Cross-Channel travel company Brittany Ferries to stand shoulder to shoulder with UK travel industry as it organizes day of action to pressure government to reopen sector and provide financial support to businesses.
Industry body ABTA estimates that 800 people – including travel agents, pilots and cabin crew – will rally outside the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday, June 23, in a bid to persuade the government to extend the green list and remove testing and quarantine requirements. for fully vaccinated travelers returning from green and amber locations.
He also wants a tailor-made financial support package to be introduced, such as the extension of the leave scheme until April 2022. In addition to the London protest, around 200 people will gather at an event in Holyrood , Edinburgh, 100 will meet in Belfast, and a meeting will be held for activists in Wales.
And in Plymouth, where Brittany Ferries is headquartered in the UK, the company said it was standing alongside ABTA, airlines and others in the travel industry in support of the Day. action, as she faces a “hammer blow” to her finances in 2021.
The shipping company, which serves holiday destinations in France and Spain from Portsmouth, Poole and Plymouth, said the entire sector was at risk. Further, he says Britons are being unfairly denied the summer getaway they deserve – and need.
“The peak summer vacation season is fast approaching. Yet there is still no transparency in the application of the government’s traffic light system for international travel, ”said a spokesperson for Brittany Ferries. “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. “
The spokesperson said 2021 will see “another hammer blow” to Brittany Ferries’ fortunes. In 2019, the company carried 545,000 passengers during the peak summer season. In 2020, it was carrying 242,000. This year, reservations amounted to only 173,000 passengers, less than a third of a normal year.
“Worrisome variants are cited by the government to justify keeping countries like Spain on the orange list,” the spokesperson said. “But this reasoning is far too vague and has an unreasonable risk aversion. In fact, it could mean the indefinite application of self-isolation measures for those returning to the UK.
“In early 2020, the British were told that the vaccination program was their passport to emerging from the Covid crisis. They have done their part: Now the government must open the door to destinations with high vaccination rates and low Covid incidence. France and Spain must immediately go on the green list.
“At the very least, the government should clarify its position on double vaccinations. The self-isolation requirement should be removed for any fully stung passenger returning to the UK from an Amber List country. “
The ABTA estimates that 195,000 travel jobs were lost during the coronavirus pandemic or are at risk. He accused the ministers of not having succeeded in restarting travel, by “undermining” the traffic light system.
He said there were no viable major tourist destinations on the green list without a quarantine, and the government urged people to avoid vacations to places on the orange list.
Derek Jones, boss of luxury travel company Kuoni, said: “The overseas travel industry has been decimated by this pandemic and the government’s disorderly response to it.
“Today, we came together to call on ministers to recognize that the restrictions they have imposed on international travel are having a profound and devastating impact on travel businesses.
“We are united in a message today: We want to see the safe reopening of international travel as well as targeted financial support to companies that have not been able to trade for over a year. “
Business Live’s Southwestern business reporter is William Telford. William has over a decade of experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. It is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.
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Tim Alderslade, Managing Director of Airlines UK – a trade body representing UK carriers, said: ‘It’s now or never for the government to reopen travel and save what’s left of the summer season, not just for families desperate to escape, but for the tens of thousands of jobs that depend on this once thriving industry.
“Airlines are at the absolute limit of what they can borrow and without a real reopening this summer they will need government support to survive.”
Clive Wratten, Managing Director of the Business Travel Association, said: “Today’s day of action highlights the desperate plight of our industry. The travel sector remains stuck as the rest of the country opens up.
“Business travel is essential for the UK economy and our ability to do business internationally. The government must provide targeted support and expand the green list when it is next revised. “
The government is expected to update its travel lists on Thursday, June 24, before a “control” review of the rules for each level takes place on Monday, June 28.