A number of the world’s largest airlines have come together submitting a letter to US vice president Mike Pence and EU commissioner for home affairs Ylva Johansson, airline executives asked for “the safe and swift restoration of air travel between the United States and Europe”.
“Given the unquestioned importance of trans-Atlantic air travel to the global economy as well as to the economic recovery of our businesses, we believe it is critical to find a way to re-open air services between the US and Europe”, the letter said.
“We recognize that testing presents a number of challenges, however we believe that a pilot testing programme for the transatlantic market could be an excellent opportunity for government and industry to work together”.
The letter was signed by British Airlines owner IAG chief executive Willie Walsh, as well as the chiefs of Lufthansa, American Airlines and United Airlines.
All of the airline’s mentioned have been forced into job cuts due to the crisis, with BA the only one not to seek bespoke aid from its home government.
The calls for a common testing system echo those made by the UK’s largest airport Heathrow, which has repeatedly demanded that the government take a lead in developing a common international standard for safe travel.