The US could maintain its ban on UK travellers until Thanksgiving on November 25, airlines fear, in a further blow to US-UK relations.
A major airline is this week expected to postpone plans to launch scheduled services from London to New York in September until November amid concerns that there are no signs of any imminent lifting of the ban.
Another airline revealed it expected the ban to continue into the autumn, although it hoped that Joe Biden, the US president, could introduce exemptions for double-jabbed Britons.
At present only Americans, their relatives and some very tightly defined exempt groups are allowed into the US.
Virgin Atlantic has pushed back the restart date for its Heathrow-Las Vegas flights to mid-September as infection rates rise in key US states and the country’s vaccination programme falters. There is the added complication that the US has not approved the AstraZeneca vaccine widely used in the UK.
‘Figures are going in the wrong direction’
“The figures are going in the wrong direction for the US,” said Henry Smith, chairman of the all-party Future of Aviation group. “I don’t see any appetite in the US to open up sooner rather than later.
“It is slightly different for the US because they have such a big domestic market, which means international travel makes up a smaller proportion of the industry’s revenues.”
It had been hoped that transatlantic travel could re-start in earnest in September after Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious diseases expert, said in June there was a “reasonable chance” of flights resuming at the end of the summer.
Boris Johnson and Mr Biden also agreed to set up a joint taskforce to restart travel when they met at the G7 summit in Cornwall in June, although the Prime Minister told colleagues later that the president appeared “very reluctant” to reboot flights.
Originally Appeared On: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/08/23/us-ban-uk-travellers-could-stay-place-november-airlines-fear/