Airlines show inconsistent reactions amid confusion on international travel following Prime Minister’s statement

British Airways owner IAG, TUI and Wizz Air were on the rise despite the lack of clarity on government guidelines

Airline stocks came back from the long Easter weekend with mixed reactions as rules on international trips remain a question mark.

Boris Johnson said on Monday he was “hopeful” that international travel could resume on May 17 as per roadmap, but it is too early to make a firm decision.

READ: Ryanair and Wizz Air passenger numbers collapse in March as COVID-19 continues to ravage travel sector

The government said it will confirm “in advance” of that date but uncertainty remains because of infection and vaccination rates in other countries.

When foreign travel will be allowed again, Westminster is planning to implement a ‘traffic light’ system based on the level of risk in the country where the passengers are coming from.

It would add a ‘green’ category to the current system, with people not required to quarantine although COVID-19 tests will remain mandatory, although no countries have been added to the list yet.

It’s also not clear whether vaccinations will remove the need for these measures and whether a ‘covid passport’ will be agreed with Europe.

According to current measures, travellers from the UK and the European Schengen area can’t enter the US while the EU Commission is discouraging non-essential travel to and from the UK.

“Beyond disappointing”

The latest announcement was met with criticism by big industry names.

easyJet plc’s () boss Johan Lundgren said that the traffic light system would prove too expensive if people coming from ‘green’ countries have to take pre-departure and post-arrival tests, which could cost up to £200 each.

“You wouldn’t open up international travel for everyone, but only those who can afford it,” he told the BBC.

“If you are ticking all of those boxes to become a green destination… [Multiple tests] don’t make sense to me and it would add to cost and…

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