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Wednesday, Dec 02, 2020

Pressure grows for London to New York 'air corridor'

Pressure grows for London to New York 'air corridor'

Britons could be allowed to fly to New York without having to quarantine on their return, the Mail has learned.

The reopening of the route would help rescue airlines that rely on trans-Atlantic travel.

Proposals are at very early stages. But if they get the go-ahead, New York could become the UK's first 'regional travel corridor' destination.

This would open the floodgates to winter holidays in America and help thousands of British businesses that rely on US visitors.


Today the boss of the trade body Airlines UK, Tim Alderslade, warns 'there is no future for international aviation without a comprehensive testing programme' (pictured, London)


In New York (pictured), the cumulative number of cases over seven days, a key statistic closely-watched by Downing Street, is at 7.2 per 100,000 residents, lower than the UK on 11.3 and much lower than the Government's quarantine threshold of 20


This would open the floodgates to winter holidays in America and help thousands of British businesses that rely on US visitors



Today the boss of the trade body Airlines UK, Tim Alderslade, warns 'there is no future for international aviation without a comprehensive testing programme'.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has repeatedly played down the idea of airport testing, claiming swab tests would fail to spot almost 90 per cent of asymptomatic cases.

But in a growing revolt, more than 80 MPs, including 40 Tories, have warned that failure to endorse airport testing will have a disastrous impact on the travel industry and wider economy.

Senior aviation bosses, including Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye, say quarantine measures have hung the 'Closed' sign on Britain and are costing the economy £60million a day in lost foreign visitor spending.

As well as airport testing, industry leaders are also eager for ministers to establish 'regional travel corridors' to low-risk destinations.

In New York, the cumulative number of cases over seven days, a key statistic closely-watched by Downing Street, is at 7.2 per 100,000 residents, lower than the UK on 11.3 and much lower than the Government's quarantine threshold of 20.

Paul Charles, of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: 'My clear understanding is that there are initial talks taking place between the Department for Transport and the US Department of Transportation to create corridors between Heathrow and New York, which is the world's most popular air route.

'However, I understand that US authorities want to see firm testing taking place at Heathrow.


The reopening of the route would help rescue airlines that rely on trans-Atlantic travel (pictured, Heathrow Terminal 5)


Proposals are at very early stages. But if they get the go-ahead, New York (pictured, JFK Airport) could become the UK's first 'regional travel corridor' destination



'It would send a strong signal if this vital route was to open again, and would build confidence for long-haul travel. It is one of the best things this Government could do for the airline industry.'

It comes amid growing certainty that Switzerland will become the latest country to face quarantine restrictions tonight.

The country's cumulative number of cases over seven days hit 21.2 per 100,000 people yesterday. Jamaica and the Czech Republic are also at risk.

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