Virgin Atlantic urges airport testing instead of quarantine

FILE PHOTO: A Virgin Atlantic Airbus comes in to land at Heathrow aiport in London, Britain, June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - The chief executive of UK-based airline Virgin Atlantic urged Britain to allow COVID-19 testing instead of quarantine for arrivals into the country in order to boost travel and help kick start the economy.

“The economy, which is already in deep recession will not take off unless we have travel and tourism back on track and the only way to do that, I believe, in the interim period before treatment and vaccine are made possible, is through testing,” Shai Weiss told BBC Radio on Wednesday.

The airline completed a 1.2 billion pound ($1.55 billion)rescue deal to secure its future last week and Weiss said the new funds should be sufficient.

He said there were no plans to change the airline’s name despite the lack of trans-Atlantic flying due to the pandemic.

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by James Davey