According to a report commissioned for London City Airport, the majority (88 per cent) of UK business leaders would actively choose to recommence business travel operations if quarantine measures were eased, and 48 per cent felt that the UK government’s travel and quarantine restrictions were the single biggest barrier to business air travel.
UK aviation industry ‘the third largest in the world’
The UK aviation industry, which is the third largest in the world according to Robert Sinclair, London City Airport’s Chief Executive, acts as an enabler of other industries such as trade, tourism, hospitality, imports, exports and conferences – many of which are important reasons for business travel.
And Richard Burge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, reasoned that aviation wasn’t vital to London’s recovery alone: “Whether it’s through travel and trade into London and then onward in the UK, or arrivals and departures in other UK cities and regions, London-based aviation is intrinsic to our national and regional economies, and to a great extent the economy of much of the world.”
Airport testing vital to supporting international trade
So, what can be done to facilitate the revival of business travel? Tom Thackray, Director of Infrastructure and Energy at the CBI certainly seems to believe that enabling the introduction of testing as an alternative to quarantine will be essential to get passengers flying again.
He also advocates that the travel industry and the government work together to help instigate the revival of aviation. As he puts it: “Aviation is fundamental to business growth across the UK and underpins our international trading performance.”
Sinclair added: “We know the demand for air travel is there, but restrictive quarantine measures are currently holding business leaders back from flying, and the UK economy from beginning its recovery.”