Life & Leisure

UK travel industry sends mayday distress call to government

By Patricia Rodríguez

London, Jun 23 (EFE).- Representatives of the travel industry in the UK attended demonstrations Wednesday demanding the government to take urgent action to safely reopen the sector, in time for the summer season.

The protest in front of Parliament in London gathered hundreds of travel agents, pilots, tour guides, cabin crew and other employees of the aviation sector, asking for solutions for the survival of the industry.

They urged authorities to ease restrictions to international travel and provide financial support adapted to the needs of the industry.

Andrew Gammon, a British Airways captain pilot, insisted on the need for a “safe and sensible reopening of the skies.”

Emma Brennan, an Association of British Travel Agents representatives, told Efe the sector feels “like a forgotten child.”

She said they understand the importance of restrictions to safeguard public health, but accused the government’s lack of support to travel agencies throughout the crisis.

The pessimistic outlook is shared by other colleagues.

Ian came to the protest with her wife Cath, after 15 months with no earnings, battered at work every day by cancellations and reimbursements, he says.

The demonstrators also want an extension of the furlough schemes, considering the travel sector has underperformed financially and is recovering at a slower pace than other businesses.

The latest figures reported by the British Airline Pilots Association reveal that British aviation was the “hardest hit” in Europe.

The number of flights to and from the United Kingdom nosedived by 73% in comparison to 2019. EFE

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