PASSENGERS FINALLY MEET GRANDCHILD AS INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS EASE

Following the most challenging period in Birmingham Airport’s 82-year history, the Midlands airport is now seeing a steady increase in passenger volumes as more restrictions are lifted, allowing families to once again reconnect overseas.

In July, more than two hundred thousand passengers travelled through the airport, a 51 percent increase compared to July last year. The airport is experiencing month on month growth and had its busiest day on Sunday 8th August since before the pandemic began.

One couple for whom the restrictions have brought personal challenges during the pandemic are the Coleman family, who last night (11/8/21) travelled to Dusseldorf to meet their granddaughter for the first time; a visit only made possible thanks to restrictions being eased and Germany moving to the green traffic light list last Sunday.

Solihull residents James and Cathy Coleman didn’t hesitate to jump on the next available and convenient flight to Dusseldorf from Birmingham to meet their Son’s firstborn, Mara, who arrived in May.

Before jetting off from Birmingham, James Coleman said:

“We last saw our son Sam and daughter-in-law Doro in August last year, but because of the complicated rules around testing and quarantine, we just couldn’t risk travelling abroad.

“Normally we would have seen them at Christmas but, of course, this was not possible so we did a video call with them, which is when they told us that they were expecting Mara. It was the best present we could have asked for but we missed seeing them through all the preparations and being able to support the pregnancy, especially as our granddaughter was born four weeks early; a very big surprise for everyone indeed.

“We’ve missed so much precious time, so as soon as restrictions were lifted for double jabbed travellers and Germany moved onto the green list, we booked the flight and now can’t wait to meet Mara for the first time to give the whole family the biggest hugs.”

Despite the steady growth in passenger volumes, traffic remains 20 percent of pre-pandemic levels and the industry is calling for an urgent review of the government’s testing regime, which continues to be a cost barrier for many. 

Nick Barton, Birmingham Airport’s Chief Executive explained:

“We’re now seeing steady growth in passenger volumes and a continual increase in the number of routes our customers can travel to as restrictions are lifted both here and overseas. So far in August we’ve seen this upward trend continue as the summer season gets underway and families respond to the relaxation of travel rules announced last week.

“It’s great to see the airport coming to life again after such a difficult 18 months, but we have to see a change to the current testing regime that is overly complicated and very expensive.

“We’re therefore calling on government to bring forward an urgent review of its testing policy which continues to be a cost barrier to travel for many hard-working families, many of whom haven’t seen loved ones for more than a year.”

Rules on overseas travel can be confusing, so Birmingham Airport has developed a new on-line travel portal called ‘Travel Made Easy’ to give customers Covid-19 information on testing, vaccination and quarantine requirements for each country it serves. The portal can be found via the airport’s website at birminghamairport.co.uk or by searching travelmadeeasy.birminghamairport.co.uk and is continually updated as new advice is published globally.

As health and safety is Birmingham Airport’s number of priority, face coverings remain mandatory in the terminal and on airport buses. Hand sanitiser stations are located throughout the terminal and social distancing is encouraged where possible.

Birmingham Airport is proud to have achieved the Airport Health Accreditation from the Airports Council International (ACI) for our commitment to health and hygiene best practice. The accreditation recognises all efforts to protect users of the airport from health risks, such as Covid-19.

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