Welcome to the return of London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for 2021 with our first edition of the year.
The 24 Month Winter
In a little over two months’ time, airlines in the Northern Hemisphere are supposed to start their summer schedules.
It is safe to say that there is no prospect of a return to normal for airlines this summer travel season.
The UK has today closed its borders to international travel and will require all inbound passengers to present evidence of a negative PCR COVID-19 test and to also self-isolate on arrival.
Yesterday’s Sunday Times splashed with proposals for inbound travellers to the UK to self-isolate, at their expense, in dedicated hotels for two weeks. This was not denied by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab when interviewed by Andrew Marr on the BBC yesterday.
As Tabby Kinger describes of her experience of Hong Kong’s strict quarantine regime in the Financial Times, whether staying in a soulless airport hotel or top-end luxury hotel suite at a cost of up to £65,000 “no amount of money makes it tolerable.” As experience in Australia has shown, quarantine hotels may themselves become a source of COVID-19 infection.
According to Politico, Greece and other EU Member States are pressing the European Commission to adopt a common standard (“vaccine passports”) to allow those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 the freedom to travel. There are significant misgivings on the part of many Member States, both on privacy grounds and restricting freedom of movement – a core principle of the EU – based on health status.
Whilst BA and easyJet have secured additional state guaranteed loans, it seems clear that Virgin Atlantic will have to obtain new sources of cash. Last week it raised $230 million through the sale and leaseback of two Boeing 787-9 aircraft. This is unlikely to be sufficient to see it through continued travel restrictions in 2021.Continue reading “London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 18 January 2021”