Gallego from IAG hopes that the North Atlantic Air Corridor will be opened at the end of June, beginning of July

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A British Airway plane arrives from London amid new restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at JFK International Airport in New York, United States, December 21, 2020. REUTERS / Eduardo Munoz

The managing director of British Airways IAG (ICAG.L) owner Luis Gallego said on Wednesday that he hoped the North Atlantic corridor for air travel would be opened in late June, early July.

Countries such as the United States are due to be included in the UK green list of safe destinations very soon, said Gallego, speaking at a virtual event on the outlook for the tourism industry in 2021, citing its level high vaccination – “one of the best in the world”.

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the airline industry, grounding thousands of planes around the world and sending businesses seeking cash as countries closed their borders and restricted mobility for all reasons, except essential.

“We will all have huge debt after this crisis, so we will all be smaller for a while after this crisis,” said Gallego. “Some will not survive: there will be consolidation opportunities in which we will participate to develop our business.”

Asked whether the trend would lead to two or three dominant airlines on each continent, Gallego agreed and stressed the importance of better combining different flight networks to improve the customer experience.

He cited IAG’s joint activities in the North Atlantic and the Middle East as a key factor in the company’s recovery and expansion – in particular the partnership with Qatar Airways.

“Higher taxes and higher costs at airports are not the solution,” said Gallego, in possible reference to plans by some EU countries to increase taxes on short-haul flights and to increase taxes on short-haul flights. ” introduce a tax on frequent travelers to reduce carbon emissions.

Instead, Gallego called for more factories producing less polluting sustainable aviation fuel.

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