EU attempts to coordinate a recovery in air travel have fallen on deaf ears in governments around Europe, say airline bosses.
The EU recommended a relaxation of internal border restrictions by member states from June 15 and opening of external borders to travel from a list of non-EU countries from July 1.
However, several EU states retain quarantine or other restrictions.
Tui aviation chief executive Kenton Jarvis said: “We welcome the efforts of the EC to attempt to coordinate this, but we are having very little success.
“Member states follow their own guidelines. It is a patchwork across Europe [and] customers lack confidence and clarity about where and when we can fly.”
Speaking on behalf of the Airlines for Europe (A4E) group, Jarvis said: “At the start of the pandemic we saw EU states close borders in a completely uncoordinated way. Now there is a need for coordination.
“The EU has issued a list of countries it is safe to fly to, but this isn’t being followed. When it comes to opening borders, every country follows a different process. There is no standard.”
As examples, Jarvis said: “Germany is largely open. The UK has quarantine restrictions. Belgium has a traffic-light system. Holland also has a traffic-light system, but it is different from Belgium’s.
“It’s unclear and the lack of clarity is impeding bookings. We ask for better coordination.”
He referred to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidance and said: ICAO has issued a template. It would be great if people followed it.
“We’re asking for better coordination between states, for timely information on changes and a digital solution [for gathering passenger health information].”
He insisted: “It is great travel is restarting, but we need clarity.”
European airports association ACI Europe also called on governments to coordinate travel restrictions.
In a statement, ACI Europe president Jost Lammers said: “We can’t go on having states applying different requirements for the same destinations. This is not helping consumer confidence in travel.”
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