A United Airlines passenger aircraft arrives over the top of residential houses to land at Heathrow Airport in west London, Britain, March 13, 2020.
Matthew Childs | Reuters
The CEOs of several large U.S. and U.K. airlines on Tuesday ramped up pressure on their respective governments to revive air travel between the two countries, asking for a summit to discuss the issue.
“Public health must guide the reopening of international air travel and we are confident that the aviation industry possesses the right tools, based on data and science, to enable a safe and meaningful restart to transatlantic travel,” said the letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his U.K. counterpart Grant Shapps. “U.S. and UK citizens would benefit from the significant testing capability and the successful trials of digital applications to verify health credentials.”
The letter was signed by the CEOs of Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and JetBlue Airways, which aims to launch U.S.-U.K. service this summer, and U.S. industry group Airlines for America.
The executives pointed to the rise in vaccinations and the economic benefits of reopening travel. The U.S. currently bars the entry of most non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents traveling from Britain, while U.S. visitors face a 10-day quarantine upon entering the U.K.
The U.S. Transportation Department and the U.K.’s Department for Transport didn’t immediately comment.