US airlines urge Trump to lift travel ban on passengers from Europe and UK and instead enforce mandatory tests before departure - despite Britain plunging into THIRD lockdown as it battles 'catastrophic Super-covid surge'

 A group representing major US airlines on Monday urged the Trump administration to lift travel bans on passengers flying in from Brazil, Europe and the UK as the air travel industry continues to strain under the weight of the on-going coronavirus pandemic and as the UK announced a new international travel ban.

The plea came in a letter authored by Airlines for America (A4A), a trade group that represents most US airlines including international giants American, United and Delta, in which they backed a CDC proposal to implement a global testing program requiring negative tests for most international passengers returning to the US.

The letter, addressed to Vice President Mike Pence, called on the Trump administration to ‘move ahead with recommendations to rescind current entry restrictions on travelers from Europe, the United Kingdom and Brazil as soon as possible.’

The group said the entry restrictions should be ‘removed concurrently with the testing program, which will provide yet another layer of safety in the travel journey’.

The emergence of A4A's letter came on the same day that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new nationwide lockdown in the UK until mid-February, as the nation grapples to control a 'super' mutant strain of the virus that's causing cases to surge.

Airlines of America has urged the Trump administration to lift travel bans on passengers coming to the US in lieu of a negative coronavirus test before take-off (pictured: British tourists returning to UK check in their luggage in Spain)

Airlines of America has urged the Trump administration to lift travel bans on passengers coming to the US in lieu of a negative coronavirus test before take-off (pictured: British tourists returning to UK check in their luggage in Spain)

The airline industry has been decimated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with growth said to have been set back more than two decades in the last nine months

The airline industry has been decimated by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with growth said to have been set back more than two decades in the last nine months

The UK lockdown forbids overseas travel except for only a handful of 'legally permitted' reasons, such as work, putting already-planned holidays on ice.  

Meanwhile, the Trump administration in March banned most non-US citizens that have been in Europe from visiting the United States.

Then in November, a Reuters report revealed that the White House was considering rescinding restrictions from the 26 members of the Schengen area that allow travel across open borders, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Brazil.

‘We believe a well-planned program focused on increasing testing of travelers to the United States will further these objectives in a much more effective way than the blanket travel restrictions currently in place,’ the airlines' letter released Monday said.


A senior administration official said the CDC proposal to expand international testing requirements faces significant opposition from people at senior levels of the administration, including in Pence's office.

The CDC on December 28 began requiring all airline passengers arriving from Britain - including U.S. citizens - to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of departure.

The move came after a highly contagious new strain of the virus was detected in the UK, though it has since been found in the US. 

Airlines are seeking at least 14 days before new requirements take effect and ‘consideration of inadequate testing and results availability in specific countries rather than a blanket worldwide requirement is also needed,’ the letter said. 

The International Air Transport Association declared the financial impact of COVID-19 to be in the region of $118.5 billion in losses for 2020

The International Air Transport Association declared the financial impact of COVID-19 to be in the region of $118.5 billion in losses for 2020


News of the letter’s existence came on the same day that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK would be heading back into lockdown for a third time, in a desperate attempt to keep the mutant coronavirus strain at bay.

The measures are due to be in place across the nation until at least mid-February, with schools and universities shuttered, non-essential businesses closed and the public ordered to stay home.

Britain is also currently grappling with a second new strain of the virus said to originate from South Africa. Experts have voiced fears that strain may not be picked up by vaccines and could also pose a more deadly threat.

As a result, British officials have put a halt to all non-essential travel, including international air travel. Within the UK, domestic holidays are also banned.

The UK Government stressed that Britons currently abroad do not need to rush back to the UK.

But ministers are poised to require a negative Covid-19 test for all UK arrivals to curb the spread of the disease.  

UK Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove meanwhile today delivered a stark warning that lockdown will only start to be lifted gradually in March - and that timeline depends on the government meeting its highly ambitious targets for vaccination. 

Airlines for America has not yet responded to a DailyMail.com request for comment as to how the UK’s latest lockdown may affect their White House request.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the UK variant of the virus has been found in upstate New York.

The governor said the man, who works at a jewelry store in Saratoga Springs, had COVID-19 symptoms but is 'on the mend.' 

Three other people linked to the jewelry store have tested positive for COVID-19, but Cuomo said it’s unknown if they have the variant.  

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK would be heading back into lockdown for a third time, in a desperate attempt to keep a mutant coronavirus strain at bay

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK would be heading back into lockdown for a third time, in a desperate attempt to keep a mutant coronavirus strain at bay

'Hard weeks ahead': Boris Johnson puts England back in full lockdown
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A report released Monday claimed that the coronavirus pandemic, which began in March, has in just nine months reversed more than two decades worth of airline growth.

According to Cirium, COVID-19 has reduced passenger traffic on global airlines to levels not seen since 1999.

More than 40 airlines completely ceased or suspended operations, and experts expect more to fail in 2021.

From January 1 to December 20, there were 16.8 million passenger flights completed globally — a 49 percent drop from the same time period in 2019 when 33.2 million flights were tracked, according to Cirium data.

There were 13 million scheduled passenger flights flown in 2020 and just 3.8 million international flights as a result international borders shutting down.

In comparison, in 2019, 21.5 million domestic flights were recorded in the same period, marking a 40 percent drop in domestic travel for 2020.

International travel, meanwhile saw a 68 percent drop year-over-year due to the pandemic, with 11.7 million international passenger flights recorded in the same period last year.

Cirium expects passenger demand for air travel to bounce back in 2024 or 2025, with domestic and leisure traffic being the first segments to show ‘sustained recovery.’

COVID-19 has reduced passenger traffic on global airlines to levels not seen since 1999, new data shows (Pictured LAX on December 23)

COVID-19 has reduced passenger traffic on global airlines to levels not seen since 1999, new data shows (Pictured LAX on December 23) 

There were 13 million scheduled passenger flights flown in 2020 and just 3.8 million international flights as a result international borders shutting down - a dcrease of 67 percent Turin Airport, in Italy, pictured above last month)

There were 13 million scheduled passenger flights flown in 2020 and just 3.8 million international flights as a result international borders shutting down - a dcrease of 67 percent Turin Airport, in Italy, pictured above last month)

American has been the hardest-hit airline by the pandemic, reportedly racking up net-debt of $25 billion

American has been the hardest-hit airline by the pandemic, reportedly racking up net-debt of $25 billion

In November, and with no end to the pandemic yet in sight, the International Air Transport Association declared the financial impact of COVID-19 to be in the region of $118.5 billion for 2020.

Calling it, ‘the airline industry's worst financial year, bar none’, the announcement came as an update to a previous prediction in June that forecasted net losses of $84.3 billion.

For 2021, the IATA also doubled its original net forecast for this year from $15.8 billion to $38.7 billion.

The so-called ‘Big Four’ - Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines – have been pleading for additional bailouts as the pandemic continues to crimp travel.

American, which has lapped up $13.5 billion in taxpayer cash, is in the worst position. The Texas-based carrier has $25 billion of net debt, roughly 6 times its forecast EBITDA for 2022, according to Refinitiv estimates that assume three-quarters of sales return in two years.

US airlines urge Trump to lift travel ban on passengers from Europe and UK and instead enforce mandatory tests before departure - despite Britain plunging into THIRD lockdown as it battles 'catastrophic Super-covid surge' US airlines urge Trump to lift travel ban on passengers from Europe and UK and instead enforce mandatory tests before departure - despite Britain plunging into THIRD lockdown as it battles 'catastrophic Super-covid surge' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:38 Rating: 5

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