- Title: Save Our Summer: UK pilots and cabin crew issue travel sector rescue plea
- Date: 23rd June 2021
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JUNE 23, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PILOTS AND AIRLINE STAFF PROTESTING AND POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHS OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT PILOT'S WINGS ON UNIFORM SIGN READING (English): "ALLOW SAFE OVERSEAS TRAVEL" PHOTOGRAPHER AIRLINE PILOTS AND CREW PROTESTING GENERAL SECRETARY OF BALPA (BRITISH AIRLINE PILOTS' ASSOCIATION), BRIAN STRUTTON VARIOUS OF STRUTTON SPEAKING WITH OPPOSITION LABOUR PARTY LAWMAKER, BEN BRADSHAW, AND HOLDING SIGN READING (English): "PILOTS SPEAKING UP FOR TRAVEL" (SOUNDBITE) (English) GENERAL SECRETARY OF BALPA, BRIAN STRUTTON, SAYING: "We want the Prime Minister (Boris Johnson) to pay proper attention to what's happening to this vital industry. If he were here next to me now, I'd be saying, number one, sort out your traffic light system. Nobody understands it, nobody knows why more countries aren't going onto the green list. And secondly, look at the economic damage that's being done to the whole of this sector. My pilots, the cabin crew, everybody else in the sector are in fear of losing their jobs, have had pay cuts, have been on furlough. The sector needs more support." CABIN CREW MEMBERS WEARING FACE MASKS (SOUNDBITE) (English) GENERAL SECRETARY OF BALPA, BRIAN STRUTTON, SAYING: "The strange thing is there's no race to the deckchairs with the Germans in Majorca at the moment because they're there and we are not, even though we've got the best vaccination rates in Europe. So I don't think people can understand why it's OK for some and not others; why it's OK for football officials to travel over and not for ordinary people to have international flights when they need them. It really is a confusing mess and ministers need to sort it out." FACE MASK READING (English): "EASYJET" / AIRLINE STAFF IN UNIFORM (SOUNDBITE) (English) GENERAL SECRETARY OF BALPA, BRIAN STRUTTON, SAYING: "Adding companies (countries) to the green list is absolutely vital now. Nobody can understand the criteria for putting companies (countries) on green or amber or red. The review mechanism is totally opaque. There's no evidence or science that's being produced by the government. My members are pilots; they expect to see a rational, methodological approach to this that they can understand, and at the moment they don't. So we need to see countries like Malta, the other Mediterranean islands, the Canaries, and the U.S. route being looked at positively to go on the green list." MODEL PLANE WITH FACE MASK ATTACHED AND TEXT READING (English): "SAVE TRAVEL" / PROTESTERS HOLDING SIGN WITH MODEL PLANE ON TOP AND TEXT READING (English): "START TRAVELLING. PROTECT JOBS. SAVE TRAVEL" (SOUNDBITE) (English) GENERAL SECRETARY OF BALPA, BRIAN STRUTTON, SAYING: "Well, even the best scenarios at the moment say that international travel isn't going to come back to normality for four years. If we lose this summer as well, I don't know how some of the travel companies, some of the airlines, are going to be able to survive, because with no money coming in, how can they continue to run their operations? So it is urgent. We need steps to be taken right now." VARIOUS OF EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT OF BALPA AND BELFAST-BASED EASYJET PILOT, PAUL NAYLOR, AT PROTEST (SOUNDBITE) (English) EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT OF BALPA AND BELFAST-BASED EASYJET PILOT, PAUL NAYLOR, SAYING: "What the government (need to) do is basically provide a transparent, data-driven, safe scheme to get us flying again. Whether that is a traffic light system that is transparent, I don't know. But they need to get it right and they need to get it right really quickly." SIGN READING (English): "SAVE TRAVEL JOBS AND BUSINESSES" / PROTESTING AIRLINE STAFF POSING WITH SIGNS AND BANNERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT OF BALPA AND BELFAST-BASED EASYJET PILOT, PAUL NAYLOR, SAYING: "I'd like them to get us flying again safely. If they can't get us flying again, I'd like to see them looking at extending the furlough scheme for the entire industry, not just the airlines, but the entire travel industry, armed with a view to giving out some specific help to individual airlines as they need it. Some of these airlines will need more help than others." VARIOUS OF PROTESTER TALKING ON THE STREET SIGN READING (English): "SAVE TRAVEL. SUPPORT OUR INDUSTRY" PROTESTER TALKING PROTESTERS HOLDING SIGNS READING (English): "HEATHROW UNITES FAMILIES" AND "GIVE SAFE TRAVEL THE GREEN LIGHT" / PROTESTERS HOLDING BANNER READING (English): "SAFE TRAVEL SAVES JOBS" PROTESTER WEARING FACE MASK VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS HOLDING SIGNS READING (English): "GIVE SAFE TRAVEL THE GREEN LIGHT" PROTESTERS GATHERED
- Embargoed: 7th July 2021 15:14
- Keywords: BALPA British Airline Pilots Association COVID-19 airlines coronavirus crew planes protest restrictions travel travel industry variants
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Europe,Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA001EIMG18N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:British pilots, cabin crew, travel agents, and other workers are urging politicians to save the summer holiday season by reopening routes abroad or risk destroying tens of thousands of jobs as companies fail.
Workers from the travel industry demonstrated across Britain on Wednesday (June 23).
Protesters outside parliament held banners saying "pilots peaking up for travel" alongside cabin crew in full uniform, as they sought to highlight the threat to their jobs from the government's strict rules.
England is expected to re-open from a third COVID-19 lockdown in July but the travel sector remains effectively shut, with the government advising against travel except to a handful of destinations.
British government ministers are examining ways to re-open travel more broadly, and are considering plans to ditch quarantine requirements for vaccinated adults and their children to some destinations.
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that whatever happens, it will be a difficult year for travel.
The industry says the rules need to be eased as soon as possible or tens of thousands more jobs will be lost as companies fail.
To survive more than 15 months of travel restrictions, companies including British Airways, EasyJet, TUI, and Jet2, have taken on billions of pounds of debt.
Airlines are also ramping up pressure on the government to ease its travel rules by joining legal action, led by Manchester Airports Group.
England's High Court ruled the case an urgent matter this week.
Under the government's traffic light system, only travellers to a small number of green-list countries can avoid quarantine.
Popular European holiday destinations for Britons, including France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United States, are rated amber and require returning passengers to take three expensive COVID-19 tests and isolate for 10 days on return.
The industry urged the government to expand the green list when the system is reviewed on June 28.
COVID-19 rules restricted the numbers permitted to attend the Westminster protest to a few hundred, but workers also held events at Manchester, Heathrow, and other airports.
Airline bosses have said that they could be ready for a wider re-opening of travel within weeks should government rules change.
But even if Britain eases its rules, airlines and tour operators could still face a challenge as the spread of the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus has prompted other countries to place restrictions on British arrivals.
(Production: Gerhard Mey, Ben Dangerfield)
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