Travel and tourism set to take off after easing of lockdown restrictions

Ryanair flight to Faro from Liverpool this morning

Traffic is ramping up at the region’s two main airports as carriers begin to restart their travel schedules.

Manchester Airport reopened its Terminal Three today (July 1), which will be followed by the reopening of Terminal Two on July 15.

Airport bosses temporarily closed the terminals after airlines grounded their fleets in response to the closing of many international borders around the world as the coronavirus pandemic raged.

However, several airlines remained operational at Manchester, including Air France, KLM, PIA, Qatar Airways, Aer Lingus, Lufthansa, Eurowings and Loganair for purposes such as repatriation or cargo flights and medical access.

Among the early returners were Emirates, Eastern Airways, Swiss Airlines and Ryanair, while carriers resuming, or restarting services this week are Iran Air, Finnair, British Airways, Brussels Airlines, easyJet, Ethiopian Airlines, Pegasus, Ryanair and Turkish Airlines.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport reported that the next wave of Ryanair departures recommenced this morning (July 1) and all flights got away either early or on time.

It said July will see flights to an additional 29 European destinations operate from Liverpool for the first time since the lockdown started as airlines continue to restart operations and enable travellers to get away once again, with the number of weekly departures increasing to more than 120 later this month.

Ryanair is adding 25 more destinations to its Liverpool July schedule, with easyJet recommencing flights to four more destinations and Wizz Air three more.

Many more services are due to restart in August.

Meanwhile, the value of inbound tourism has been highlighted by Liverpool-based Heritage Great Britain, the visitor attractions company which operates sites including Snowdon Mountain Railway and Liverpool’s Royal Liver Building 360 experience, which said it needs “visitors to return like never before” as it prepares to re-open following the three-month COVID-19 lockdown.

The firm which also owns hotels at Land’s End, John O’Groats and The Needles Landmark Attraction on the Isle of Wight, says the impact of the pandemic has been devastating and that it can only recover if people support local tourism.

Company director, Peter Johnson-Treherne, said: “We are preparing to reopen our sites in early July.

“The Royal Liver Building 360 experience will be the first visitor attraction to reopen, with our other locations including Snowdon Mountain Railway, The Needle’s on the Isle of Wight, Land’s End and John O’Groats shortly afterwards.

Royal Liver Building tours restart this Saturday

“The truth is, we need visitors to return like never before if we stand any chance of saving the British tourism industry this year.

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been completely devastating. The impact will be felt here in Liverpool because we rely so heavily on visitors to boost the economy.”

He added: “Royal Liver Building 360 was approaching its first year in business before we closed. The tour was incredibly popular but the pandemic has hit us, like other visitor attractions, hard. It is possible that some won’t survive.”