In a statement, the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) stressed that the UK aviation industry was “the most affected” in Europe by the restrictions imposed on international flights.
In an analysis of air traffic data from the 1st to the 15th of this month, Balpa said that the number of flights entering and leaving the United Kingdom dropped 75 percent compared to data for the same period in 2019. The association highlighted that the British airports of Gatwick (London) and Manchester were the most affected in all of Europe by the containment measures imposed to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, followed closely by Heathrow and Stansted, both also in the British capital. Balpa also indicated that some 860,000 jobs were lost in the aviation and tourism travel industry.
“It's official. The UK aviation industry is the hardest hit in Europe because of the ridiculous preemptive restrictions on international travel imposed by the British Government. [The government] feels like it is deliberately attacking aviation and harassing citizens with mixed messages about summer vacation,” lamented union secretary general Brian Strutton.
"Balpa demands that the British Government react and reopen the routes with the United States and with the European holiday destinations that they blocked without any evidence disclosed", added Strutton, who highlighted the importance of having for the economy national a “thriving aviation industry”.
Speaking to the BBC today, British Justice Minister Robert Buckland said that, given the rise of some covid-19 variants such as Delta, "there will be no normal holidays or travel" this summer in the UK. However, without disclosing specific data, Buckland admitted that the London executive does not rule out a reduction of the current restrictions in place, both with regard to foreign travel and quarantine, for those people who have already received the two vaccines against the coronavirus , being fully immunised.
From Saturday, compared to Friday, the UK recorded 10,321 more infections and 14 more deaths by covid-19, according to statistics released daily by the British Government. Between last Sunday and Saturday, the country had 63,764 new cases of infection by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which represents an increase of 33.2 percent of cases compared to the previous week. The number of deaths in the same week increased by 23.3 percent to 74 deaths. According to official statistics, the number of weekly hospitalisations also increased - 39.6 percent between 9 and 15 June.