Manchester Airports Group (MAG) in the UK has reportedly teamed up with Irish airline company Ryanair to launch a legal action against the government over the travel traffic light system.
The UK Government introduced the traffic light system, which rates countries green, amber or red based on their Covid risk.
By launching a legal challenge, the two companies are seeking more transparency on how the countries are being classified.
Other airline companies are also expected to join the campaign in order to get a better understanding of how countries qualify to make their place in the green list of safe places to visit amid the pandemic.
Both MAG and Ryanair have expressed their concerns about the sudden removal of Portugal, which was included in the green list in mid-May.
As a result of this, British holidaymakers reportedly had to cut down their trips and fly back to the country via extra flights arranged by the airline companies.
MAG CEO Charlie Cornish said: “We were told the traffic light system would allow people to travel safely, with the right measures in place to manage risk for different countries.
“But it is now clear the government doesn’t trust its own system and that international travel is being unfairly scapegoated, with tens of thousands of jobs placed at risk in the process.
“Low-risk destinations continue to be left off the green list despite clear evidence they are safe to visit. With case rates lower than the UK, we simply cannot understand why the likes of the Balearics, the Canaries and some Greek islands do not fall into that category.”
However, the UK Government justified its decision to move Portugal from green to amber, saying it was due to an increase in infection rates across the country.
The decision was said to have been triggered by the emergence of the ‘Nepal variant’, a mutation of the Delta version of the virus that was first detected in India.
The government further raised red flags, saying that the available vaccines may not be that effective on the mutation.
A government spokesperson said: “We recognise this is a challenging period for the sector, as we seek to balance the timely reopening of international travel while safeguarding public health and protecting the vaccine roll-out.
“We have provided £7bn to help support the industry during the pandemic.”