Ryanair, easyJet, Tui, Virgin Atlantic and others tackle more ‘chambolic’ amber category following High Court ruling

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Ministers do not need to explain how they make decisions about the traffic light system for international travel, the High Court ruled.

A collective of airline bosses backed Manchester Airports Group (MAG) as it took on the government in court ahead of the summer recess.

MAG challenged the “lack of transparency on how ministers make decisions about the traffic light system”.

Read more: Jet2 criticized by travelers saying they are ‘kept on hold for hours’

Ryanair, IAG, Virgin Atlantic, Tui and easyJet all backed MAG as interested parties, but judges said in many cases providing detailed information requested when Amber List countries changed “would risk slowing down the process. decision-making ‘and’ would impose a burden ‘.

MAG is the UK’s largest airport group, and it argued in court that the government should “define how it categorizes countries between the green, orange and red lists.”

Prior to the case, he wrote: “Without a view and understanding of this decision-making process, the aviation sector – already the most affected part of the UK economy in the aftermath of the pandemic – is unable to plan for its recovery, as more countries are added and removed from the safe travel list without obvious logic, prior warning or consultation with industry. ”

Following the decision, Charlie Cornish, CEO of MAG released a statement co-signed by Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair Group, Luis Gallego, CEO of IAG, Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, Andrew Flintham, Managing Director from TUI UK & Ireland and Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic.

He said: “UK businesses and consumers deserve to understand how the government makes decisions on the traffic light system so that they can book their travel with confidence, whether for business, to visit friends and family or just to take a vacation.

“The way decisions have been made to date has not been transparent and has created enormous confusion and uncertainty for the UK public. In a recent poll 80% of UK consumers agreed.

“The most recent changes, including the status of travelers from France, which overnight created another category of ‘amber plus’ have been chaotic and have made planning for consumers and businesses even more difficult. The government should do the right thing for consumers and clarify any changes it makes to the system.

“If the government is really tracking the data, then it needs to make some significant changes to the green list, including adding the US and major EU countries.

“There is also no reason why travelers from the US and the EU should not be exempted from quarantine and testing as soon as possible. The UK is already behind schedule on reopening the EU and our overly cautious approach to international travel will have an additional impact on our economic recovery. “

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