Southend Airport CEO calls for more clarity on when international travel can restart

  • Watch more from our reporter Elodie Harper on how businesses are preparing for lockdown easing

The Chief Executive of Southend Airport has called for more clarity on when international travel can restart again.

Leading figures in the travel industry were left disappointed after the Prime Minister failed to confirm whether journeys to foreign destinations will be allowed to resume from May 17 during his latest Downing Street briefing on Easter Monday.

Boris Johnson did say that he was "hopeful" that flights would be given the green light from next month, but added that he still needed to see more data before making a final decision.

It means that airports still don't know for sure when they will be able to welcome passengers back, and Southend CEO Glyn Jones believes the government need to provide the aviation industry with greater financial support.

Travel industry bosses want Boris Johnson to give them more clarity about when international travel can restart. Credit: PA

"Aviation is among the industries most severely impacted by Covid and urgently needs clarity about both the available destinations and the circumstances, for example testing and quarantine, that will apply, in order to build confidence among prospective travellers," he said.

"Airports such as London Southend have invested to make travel as safe as it can be for passengers; we now need Government to play its part in rebuilding confidence and increasing passenger numbers by providing clarity. 

"Until that happens, airports need far more financial support than has hitherto been provided. At London Southend, the AGOSS (The Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme), welcome as it is, covers only 5% of what are largely fixed costs. If, as seems likely given the very cautious tone struck by the Prime Minister today, Summer 2021 will see a slow and partial return to international travel, far greater support with costs is essential."