Willie Walsh has questioned whether the government “is serious about getting the economy going” following the prime minister’s announcement that air travellers will face a 14-day quarantine on arrival in the UK.
Walsh, chief executive off British Airways parent IAG, told MPs: “The announcement of the 14-day quarantine is going to make the crisis worse.”
Appearing before Parliament’s Transport Select Committee on Monday, Walsh said: “We’ve never seen anything like this. It is the most significant crisis the industry has faced.
“We had been planning to resume on a pretty significant basis in July. We will have to review that in light of what the prime minister has said.”
He said it was “too early to say” what kind of schedule BA could operate in light of the quarantine measures.
Walsh added: “I don’t think anyone thought the government would implement this [quarantine] if it was serious about getting the economy moving.
“It will not make much difference [to us] now or in June.” But from July, he said: “Our capacity into and out of the UK will be pretty minimal.”
Walsh questioned whether the measures would apply only to arrivals by air, saying: “It appears the government won’t require quarantine for people arriving in the UK in other ways.
“The PM did not make any reference to train or boat. He said travellers arriving by air. We will wait for clarity.”
Walsh insisted: “I endorse the mandatory wearing of face masks [for passengers and crew] I support temperature monitoring of customers at airports and on arrival. These are sensible measures.
“We will take all measures to implement what I hope will be a common system [of health measures] across Europe and hopefully globally.”
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