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Airports fear losing £2.6bn in 2021 due to ‘overly cautious’ travel rules

UK airports face losing £2.6 billion this year due to the Government’s “overly cautious approach” to reopening international travel, an industry body has claimed.

The Airport Operators Association (AOA) said there is a risk that the coming months will be “as bad or worse than summer 2020” in terms of passenger numbers.

That is because the number of destinations people from the UK could visit last summer without needing to quarantine on their return was “significantly more” than under the current traffic light regime, which has no viable major tourist locations on the green list following Portugal’s removal.

The AOA said UK airports lost out on £2.6 billion of revenue between April and September 2020, and expects a similar loss across the whole of 2021.

“Unless the Government makes a meaningful restart of aviation possible by extending the green list at the next review, moving to rapid and affordable tests for returning travellers and following the examples of the EU…

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