The UK’s third lockdown has taken off but planes continue to stay firmly on the ground, leaving those working in the industry uncertain about its future.
The Coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone in different ways, but the travel industry has been hit the hardest and it could take up to five years for some businesses to fully recover from the consequences of Covid-19.
The government has introduced tighter travel restrictions known as the “travel triple lock” which forces UK arrivals to produce a negative Covid-19 test, complete a passenger locator form and quarantine for up to 10 days.
Only a week ago the government introduced the “travel triple lock” for anyone entering the #UK – a negative test, accurate passenger locator form and quarantine at home for up to 10 days. It appears to be working – so why change it now? #COVID19 @ThePCAgency
— Paul Charles (@PPaulCharles) January 25, 2021
Ross Griffiths, the founder and director of Your Limitless Travel, an online travel agency that launched when the pandemic began, said he anticipated a fall in travel sales and saw it as an opportunity for future sales.
Audio: Ross Griffiths on future travel sales.
Despite international travel decreasing by almost 80% in 2020, Mr Griffiths added: “Luckily, having launched a travel agency in the middle of a pandemic, it’s not really affected me too much as I was aware of the restrictions and was planning more for future sales once we are allowed to fly again.”
Studies by TechRepublic found that the airline industry is in the top five industries most affected by the pandemic as they anticipated that almost £190 billion in revenue was lost in 2020. Furthermore, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimated that 4.8 million jobs in aviation could potentially disappear.
Mary McGrory, a British Airways employee, was furloughed during the first lockdown and decided to leave her role after working with the company for over 25 years.
She said: “The whole structure of the business changed and my job role had changed considerably so I felt like leaving the business was out of my control and it was my only option.”
Despite her frustration over the situation, she added: “I loved working for British Airways, it’s a great company, it’s just very upsetting that this had to happen but I don’t blame [British Airways], they’ve done what they’ve had to do to survive this difficult time.”
The travel, hospitality and tourism industry is trying to re-emerge from the crisis by developing measures to build a more resilient tourism economy post Covid-19 but the success or failure of the recovery will be the public’s to determine. I asked members of the public if they will take to the sky once it is safe to do so.