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UPDATE 1-New BA boss urges transatlantic testing and corridors

Mon, 19th Oct 2020 11:49

(Adds minister's comment, details, background)

PARIS, Oct 19 (Reuters) - British Airways' new boss
appealed to Britain and the United States on Monday to back
pre-flight COVID-19 testing with quarantine-free transatlantic
travel corridors.

"We need to work together on a testing pilot so flights can
start between London and New York, traditionally one of the
busiest airline routes in the world," Sean Doyle said in his
first public appearance in the job.

Doyle was addressing the Airlines 2050 online conference
less than a week after parent group IAG's new Chief Executive
Luis Gallego named him to lead the British carrier, replacing
Alex Cruz.

The former Aer Lingus CEO also echoed industry calls for a
global framework of virus testing to replace quarantines blamed
by the industry for exacerbating its slump.

A British-U.S. pilot programme requires both governments to
waive quarantines, Doyle said. "At the moment we're not getting
any support or action and we're not hearing from governments
what they're thinking."

British Transport Minister Grant Shapps told the same
conference he would push for an agreement on new travel
corridors with the United States.

"We're trying to get this moving as quickly as possible,"
Shapps said. "By the very nature of international cooperation
I'm afraid I can't predict how fast the rest of the world will
be to make that a reality."

(Reporting by Laurence Frost, editing by Louise Heavens)

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