British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are pushing the country’s government to establish an air bridge between the United Kingdom and the United States, expecting it to start working from May 17, 2021. 

British Airways CEO Sean Doyle and Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss urged the UK government to provide more clarity on the countries likely to be open for the summer season. They also  highlighted the necessity of the transatlantic routes opening, describing them as “central” for their recovery from the pandemic. 

“We want to highlight the US opportunity. It’s very important to focus on the corridor between the UK and US,” Weiss told  Bloomberg TV, adding that customers and businesses relying on international travel between the UK and US needed certainty. 

British Airways CEO said that he saw “nothing in the data” that could stop the UK from opening up for international travel beginning May 17, 2021. 

“We at BA and Virgin (VAH) connected the UK with over 30 cities in the US directly before the pandemic. Now we are operating only a handful of cities with significantly reduced frequencies. Not opening up the UK economy is costing the UK about £32 million per day,” Doyle wrote in a statement seen by the Business Traveller. 

Speaking at a press conference on April 6, 2021, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson said he was hopeful that international travel could resume by May 17, 2021, if the COVID-19 virus in other countries could be controlled.

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In a bid to look for options to operate zero-emission short-haul flights, British Airways invested in ZeroAvia, which is developing hydrogen-powered aircraft.