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Published on Wednesday, August 25, 2021

WTTC urges US to approve AZ vaccine to revive transatlantic travel with UK

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) wants the US government to urgently approve the UK's AstraZeneca vaccine to help speed up the resumption of transatlantic travel.

The US this week approved the Pfizer vaccine, however it still does not currently recognise AstraZeneca as a fully approved Covid-19 vaccine.

Even if the Biden Administration allows borders to reopen, the non-recognition of AstraZeneca will be a significant barrier to transatlantic travel, the WTTC says.

There are millions in the UK and globally vaccinated with AZ, which has the largest global reach of all current vaccines.

WTTC says non-recognition will continue to seriously depress consumer demand and prevent any meaningful revival of transatlantic travel.

Virginia Messina, WTTC Senior Vice President, said: "It's crucial the US authorities step forward to formally approve the AstraZeneca vaccine as a matter of urgency to enable cross-border mobility."

"Unless they give it the green light then the US will effectively remain closed to the vast majority of UK visitors and the many millions around the world who are double-jabbed with the AstraZeneca vaccine."

According to travel and data analytics expert Cirium, UK-U.S. flights scheduled for the last week of August have plunged by 73% compared to the same period in 2019.

Total seats available over this period have collapsed from a high of 287,000 in 2019 to just 78,000 in 2021.


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