- Airline CEOs have called for a joint summit to initiate transatlantic travel.
- A joint letter was sent by CEOs of six passenger airline companies and a US-based aviation trade association to the transport ministers of both nations.
- The signatories have requested for holding a joint summit before the G7 Summit in June.
Heads of the major UK and US-based airline companies have called for a joint government summit to discuss the re-opening of transatlantic travel. A joint letter signed by CEOs of six prominent passenger airline companies and an aviation trade association said that the industry required sufficient lead time to devise a plan to restart air services. They added that they need time to sell tickets and schedule crew and aircrafts for the transatlantic route.
The joint letter was written by the chiefs of British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, JetBlue Airways Corp (NASDAQ: JBLU), American Airlines Group Inc (LON: 0HE6), Delta Air Lines Inc (NYSE: DAL), United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) and the US industry association Airlines for America addressed to the transport ministers, Pete Buttigieg and Grant Shapps, in the US and the UK.
The IAG stock was trading at GBX 194.68, up 0.19 per cent at 8.03 AM on 12 May at the London Stock Exchange. International Consolidated Airlines Group S.A. (LON: IAG), the parent company of British Airways, had a market capitalisation of £9.66 million at that time.
The shares of JetBlue Airways Corp (NASDAQ: JBLU) closed at US$19.26 on 11 May. The share price of the American Airlines Group Inc (LON: 0HE6) was US$21.47 at 8.05 AM on 12 May, up 0.41 per cent from its previous day’s close. The shares of Delta Air Lines Inc (NYSE: DAL) closed at US$45.45 on 11 May. United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) shares ended at US$54.03 on Wednesday.
The letter’s signatories have requested for holding the joint summit before the G7 Summit, which will be held between 11 and 13 June.
The letter added that the airlines were confident of the safe restart of the transatlantic travel and had the right tools to do the same, especially given the success of the vaccination rollout. It said that air travel enabled mutual trade between the UK and the US, which was worth £196 billion in 2019 before the pandemic.
The US-UK travel
A majority of travel between the UK and the US has been either restricted or totally banned during the Covid pandemic. Since March 2020, the US government has not allowed nearly all non-US citizens who have recently been in Britain. On the other side, US visitors have to undergo a 10-day quarantine as they enter the UK.
Last week, a statement from the US transport department said that the UK government discussed the complexities of reopening international air travel. It said that the department would review the joint letter.
Additionally, earlier this month, a group of the US and European airlines had written a letter to the prime ministers of the UK and the US to completely reopen the mutual air travel from this June itself.