Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Friday, August 13, 2021

Traffic light system holding back recovery, says Manchester Airport

The UK's traffic light system and travel restrictions are still hampering the recovery, says Manchester Airport.

The country's aviation sector is recovering at just half the rate of the rest of Europe, says Karen Smart, Managing Director at Manchester Airport.

The airport released its passenger figures for July, which shows a decline of 85.9% compared to July 2019.

The airport handled 3,178,505 passengers in July 2019, compared to just 447,954 in the same month this year.

The airport said that since the review of the traffic light system on 4 August - which saw more countries added to the green and amber lists - volumes have picked up slightly but well down on pre-pandemic levels.

The requirement for passengers to pay for expensive PCR tests, even when fully vaccinated, was 'out of step' with the rest of Europe, Smart says.

According to data from Airports Council International, Europe's airports are handling around 59% of pre-pandemic traffic, compared to just 28% in the UK.

 "While it is encouraging that more people are taking the opportunity to go on holiday, we are still yet to see a meaningful recovery in international travel," Smart said

"We won't see a proper sustained recovery until the UK overhauls its costly and restrictive travel regime."

"UK passengers continue to be subjected to onerous and expensive PCR testing on the basis they will be sequenced to protect the UK from variants of concern, but it is clear this is not happening."


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