Aviation leaders expressed frustration at the government’s failure to relax blanket quarantine restrictions on most travel destinations despite criticism from all sides.

Speaking during Travel Weekly’s Future of Travel Week, Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, accused the government of failing to understand “the scale and the urgency of the challenges we face” in the industry.

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She said: “We’re pretty disappointed with where we’ve got to. There were a lot of promising signals in the early stages [of the crisis]. The government said it was considering a sector-specific deal [for aviation] and we made good progress on health measures. The Job Retention Scheme has been really helpful. But beyond that there is a real failure by government to understand the scale and the urgency of the challenges we face because of quarantine.”

Dale Keller, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives, said: “The government’s lack of decision-making is pulling us back. We’re
falling behind when we should be taking a lead.”

Iata UK country manager Simon McNamara insisted: “We’re not just disappointed, we’re frustrated. The numbers show we’re going
backwards. When Spain was removed from the travel corridors list, we saw bookings through Iata’s systems drop 10% overnight.”