Industry leaders have issued a joint statement ahead of a High Court hearing later this morning challenging the government’s traffic light travel system.
The legal action is being led by Manchester Airports Group alongside Ryanair, British Airways owner IAG, Tui, and easyJet.
The hearing is in front of Lord Justice Lewis and Mr Justice Swift at 10.30am at the High Court in London.
The bosses of the five companies – MAG’s Charlie Cornish, Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary, IAG’s Luis Gallego, easyJet’s Johan Lundgren and Tui UK and Ireland’s Andrew Flintham – argue that it is unclear how ministers make decisions on overseas travel.
They said: “As an industry, safety is always our number one priority, and we have supported every measure introduced to protect the health of the travelling public throughout this pandemic.
“We welcomed the creation of a Global Travel Taskforce to establish a safe framework for flying which recognised the need for confidence and clarity for consumers and supported the principle of a “traffic light system” based on the risk of travelling to different destinations.
“However, it remains unclear how the government is taking decisions on country categories, which is in stark contrast to other governments including the US and the EU, who have set out clear parameters for travel.
“A survey this week of 2,000 British travellers by easyJet showed 89% think the government’s travel policies and advice have been confusing, while 83% think there is a lack of clarity or transparency on government decision-making in relation to the traffic light system.
“British consumers need to understand how decisions are made so they can confidently plan their travel, which is why we are asking the government to provide the data and advice that is underpinning its decision making.
“We urge the government to take a data-driven and risk management approach to re-open our skies safely. UK aviation supports 1.5 million jobs. Global Britain needs aviation. The government should act now to re-boot the economy and protect jobs.”