The United States puts an end to the ban on international travel and opens the door to vaccinated tourists

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Tehram Qureshi meets with relatives as he arrives from London at John F. Kennedy International Airport as the U.S. reopens land borders to travelers vaccinated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) for the first time since restrictions were imposed. of COVID-19, New York, November 8, 2021.

Eduardo Muñoz | Reuters

The United States on Monday ended a pandemic travel ban that has been in place for more than a year and a half, a relief for the tourism industry and for families who have been separated by the rules since it began. the crisis.

At New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, passengers arriving from London on British Airways Flight 1, the same number used for the Concorde, were greeted with applause from the airline’s employees. and with balloons.

Some business travelers said they are ready to abandon video calling for in-person and work meetings.

“We’ve been desperate for two years to go out and see our staff,” said Giles English, co-founder of luxury watchmaker Bremont, which has a store in Midtown Manhattan.

English told CNBC shortly after arriving in JFK with British Airways Flight 1 that the video technology is “amazing, but I think face-to-face is very important.”

Katherine Donnelly, 52, of London, who flew on that flight, said she has not been in New York for more than two years and wants to visit her aunt, who is ill.

“I can’t wait to see her,” he said.

The ban, set by then-President Donald Trump in early 2020 and later extended by President Joe Biden earlier this year, banned visitors from 33 countries, including the United Kingdom, much of Europe, China, the United States. Brazil and South Africa.

Andrzej Formaniak greets his wife Eva Eggar after arriving at Logan International Airport as the United States reopens its air and land borders to vaccinated travelers for the first time since coronavirus disease (COVID) restrictions were imposed. 19), in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, November 8, 2021.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

Now, visitors can fly to the U.S. with a full vaccination test against Covid-19, although there are exemptions for travelers under the age of 18 and passengers from countries with little vaccine availability. (Read about the new rules here.)

A passenger arrives at Heathrow Airport Terminal 3, following the lifting of restrictions on the entry of non-US citizens into the United States imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19 ), in London, Great Britain, November 8, 2021.

Henry Nicholls | Reuters

European countries had relaxed rules for international visitors, even for American citizens, starting in the spring. However, US officials did not respond, although airlines and other companies in the travel industry on both sides of the Atlantic urged the Biden administration to reopen borders.

“It’s a day we’d like him to arrive sooner, but after 604 days without being able to travel to the United States, we’re thrilled to be back,” said British Airways CEO Sean Doyle, who was on the company’s first flight to the United States. US then restrictions were lifted on Monday.

Airline executives have said bookings have risen since the Biden administration said it would lift restrictions.

American Airlines’ bookings from Brazil and the United Kingdom have risen about 70 percent over the past week, much of them for fourth-quarter flights, CNBC’s chief revenue officer told CNBC. the company, Vasu Raja, in an interview at John F. Kennedy Airport. The airline jointly offers service in the UK with British Airways.

Raja said American and British Airways are increasing service in London and hope to move closer to a pre-pandemic schedule in early 2022.

The airline, as well as its rival United, are among the customers affected by the manufacturing problems of Boeing’s 787, which has suspended deliveries for much of last year.

“It’s a pretty significant impact on how quickly we can rebuild internationally,” Raja said.

Boeing did not provide a timeline for when deliveries could be resumed while working through its review with federal officials.

“While we never want to disappoint or delay our customers, quality and safety are always first,” he said in a statement. “We are proud of our team for the detailed and rigorous work they are doing to ensure we meet the highest standards.”

Performers interact with passengers as they queue to check in Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines flights at Heathrow Airport Terminal 3, following lifting restrictions on non-North American entry. Americans in the United States imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Great Britain, November 8, 2021.

Henry Nicholls | Reuters

Shares of United and Delta Air Lines added 0.8% each to end the day at $ 53.11 and $ 44.65, respectively. American Airlines rose 2% to end at $ 22.25, while the S&P 500 rose less than 0.1%. These airlines have the most international service of American airlines and will benefit from the resumption of travel to the United States.

London Heathrow Airport airline staff carried flags of the United States and the United Kingdom to celebrate the end of travel restrictions.

A Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said her flights to the United States today are 98% full. British Airways Flight 1 took off from Heathrow along with Virgin Atlantic Flight 3 shortly before 8:30 GMT to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on a synchronized runway in parallel runways. · Leles. British Airways said the flight was full.

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