Passenger flights between London and New York could take place by Christmas

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Mr Holland-Kaye said the US government wanted to pilot pre-departure tests and could turn to France or Germany if the UK did not move forward. “It would be a huge setback for the UK,” he added.

The task force is due to report to Boris Johnson this week, with Mr Shapps having suggested that the test and the fifth or seventh day release could be in place by December 2, when the second lockdown is reviewed.

“What we really need is for the government to go ahead and announce what it is going to announce now, so that by December 2 we are ready to go. There’s no reason they can’t do this, “Holland-Kaye said.

He warned that if international borders remained closed during the winter and next year, “a lot of airports will close and airlines will go bankrupt. A lot of businesses are just in survival mode ”.

Mr. Holland-Kaye said he did not think the government understood “how important aviation is to the economy, which seems odd to say given that we are a small island trading nation”.

He cited the decision to abolish duty-free shopping at airports and 20% corporate rates, putting the UK at a disadvantage compared to international competitors who had directly opposing policies.



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