The boss of British Airways says a COVID-19 vaccination should not be a requirement for air travel as the industry looks to take flight once more after a troubled 12 months.
While vaccinated people are likely to be allowed to travel without restriction, BA chief executive Sean Doyle says non-vaccinated people with a negative COVID-19 test should also be allowed on board.
Doyle, appointed to the top job at BA last October, set out his ideas for a travel restart a month before the UK government finalises its plans.
On April 12, Britain will announce how and when non-essential travel into and out of the country can resume.
Doyle called on Britain to work with other governments to allow vaccines and health apps to open up travel, after a year when minimal flying has left many airlines across the world on life support.
"People who've been vaccinated should be able to travel without restriction. Those who have not been vaccinated should be able to travel with a negative test result," he said.
Apps confirming passengers' vaccine status will be key to facilitating travel at scale, the industry has said, claiming airline staff checking paperwork takes up to 20 minutes per passenger and is not practical for large numbers of passengers.
Britain has rapidly rolled out vaccinations and 44 per cent of the adult population, mostly people over 60, have now had their first shot.
The government has said any return to travel must be fair and not unduly disadvantage those who have not been vaccinated.
Doyle expects Britain to bring in a tiered framework with destinations put into categories depending on risk.
BA's budget rival Ryanair, Europe's biggest airline, has said it hopes to fly up to 70 per cent of its 2019 passenger numbers this summer.
BA has struck a deal with a testing kit provider giving its passengers Stg33 ($A60) tests to take abroad.
Travel commentators expect most European airlines to focus on short-haul leisure routes this summer, and Doyle noted France, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus and Spain had all sounded positive about welcoming British holidaymakers.
But he said BA was also looking further afield.
"We're already looking at new destinations over the summer that we haven't flown to before, and that could be across both long-haul and short-haul," Doyle said.
Australian Associated Press