Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) is joining trade bodies and associations from across the aviation and travel industries to support the ‘Travel Day of Action’ on 23 June, asking the UK Government to support a safe return to international travel in time for the peak summer period.
Led by travel and aviation trade bodies such as Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), the day of action will call upon UK Government to allow a safe return to international travel by properly implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan for a traffic light system, expanding the Green List in line with the scientific evidence and making restrictions more appropriate, whilst following a strong Red list to guard against variants.
The Travel Day of Action will task a motion for the UK Government to bring forward a package of tailored financial support, such as the extension of furlough, in recognition of the travel sector’s ability to bounce back being much slower than anticipated.
Doncaster Sheffield Airport will be standing with its fellow partners across the travel industry in acknowledging the need for a safe return to travel and welcoming the support the Government has offered the industry. However, the travel and aviation industry need transparency and clarity around the Government’s traffic light system and more green destinations adding to the safe travel list.
Consumer confidence is at an all-time low, heavily impacted by confused messaging from Government. The UK currently lags behind other European countries such as Greece, Spain and Portugal who are keen to kick start the summer season and welcome British tourists, having eased their testing regimes to accept lateral flow test for travellers.
The travel industry supports 221,000 UK jobs and the reopening of international travel is essential for economic recovery. Unlike many other modes of transport, the private sector is largely bearing the brunt of the financial burden. Ensuring there is an Aviation industry still left standing at the end of this crisis should be a priority for Government. The demand for international travel is strong, but travellers need clarity with affordable testing in place, where testing is absolutely necessary.
It must not be forgotten that the travel sector connects people and places and is not purely about holidays. In recent weeks the rest of Europe has begun to open its borders and implement effective regimes enabling people to travel for business and leisure.
Robert Hough CBE, chairman of Peel Airports, said: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport is proud to add its voice to the Travel Day of Action and stand by our aviation and travel industry partners in asking the Government for clarity and transparency on the return to safe international travel in time for Summer.
“Regional airports are vital not only for getting passengers on their well-earned summer holidays to spend time with their families. They also have an important economic role to play in the regions they serve too, providing jobs and acting as a catalyst for economic growth. We trust that the Government will take note of the day of action and offer vital support and clarity for safe international travel in time for the peak summer season along with other parts of Europe.”
Doncaster Sheffield Airport is already responsible for an annual contribution of £67m to the wider economy, a contribution that has the potential to grow to £6.5bn by 2037.
During Robert Courts MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport’s (DfT), recent visit to the airport, the DSA leadership team appealed to the Minister to act now, safeguard jobs and enable what is the region’s most economically transformative asset, to continue to play a critical role in government’s levelling up agenda.