Fliers hesitant to restart operation amid uncertainties during COVID-19 travel restrictions

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London [UK], June 19 (ANI): The global aviation industry is set to restart its operations, however, fliers are not returning to the skies in large numbers despite signs of rebounding demand in sectors like retail amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Airlines and airports are partly blaming a standstill in international travel on governments, for not lifting travel bans, quarantines and other restrictions more quickly, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Australia's Qantas Airways said that it was cancelling most international flights through October.
The move came after the Australian government indicated it would keep its borders shut to most international travellers until next year to help curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
"In five or 10 years' time, the market will be bigger," WSJ quoted Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said as saying. "But how quickly really depends on how quickly we can get countries to reopen their borders," he said.
Heathrow, which is Europe's busiest airport is now at the centre of a divide between industry executives and government and public health officials over how quickly to resume significant international air travel.
The United Kingdom has said that travellers coming into the country will be subject to a strict two-week quarantine once they land. Airlines and Heathrow have fought back, but so far the government isn't softening its stance.
"What we are seeing in other markets is that they are starting to open up. Greece and Israel and Italy and Spain are starting to reopen their borders," Holland-Kaye said.
"We are not seeing that in the UK", Holland-Kaye added.
The British government said that the measure is critical to prevent COVID-19 cases from entering the country.
This month will be a test case. On Monday, the European Union cleared its citizens to travel across the 27-member states bloc. In some cases beyond, many with minimal conditions.
US carriers have nevertheless promised to increase domestic capacity this summer. American Airlines Group Inc. expects domestic flights in July to be about 55 per cent of its capacity compared with the same month last year.
British Airways, owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, had thought to use its Heathrow hub as the launchpad for its own substantial return to service in July. Those plans are on hold, said Willie Walsh, IAG's chief executive.
Michael O'Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, has called the policy impractical. The Irish airline last week also criticised guidance from the UK's Department for Transport that passengers should avoid carry-on luggage.
The government "should stop issuing rubbish advice to passengers about baggage and instead focus their efforts on scrapping the UK's useless visitor quarantine," the airline said in a statement.
The transport agency said that the luggage measure would help quicken boarding and disembarking times and minimise the risk of transmission between passengers on the aircraft.
Michael O'Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, which has its biggest base at London Stansted Airport, has called the policy impractical. The Irish airline last week also criticised guidance from the UK's Department for Transport that passengers should avoid carry-on luggage.
The government "should stop issuing rubbish advice to passengers about baggage and instead focus their efforts on scrapping the UK's useless visitor quarantine," the airline said in a statement.
The transport agency said that the luggage measure would help quicken boarding and disembarking times and minimise the risk of transmission between passengers on the aircraft.
Holland-Kaye said that he has been working with his counterparts in global hubs like Hong Kong, Sydney and Los Angeles among others, to coordinate their efforts and create a uniform experience for travellers in the post-pandemic age. (ANI)