More than 100,000 people are set to pass through the Midlands gateway during the next two weeks which contrasts sharply with this time last year when the passenger terminal was closed and flights were grounded due a ban on non-essential travel.

From 4am on Friday 11 February, people who qualify as fully vaccinated will not need to take a COVID-19 test before they travel to England or after they arrive and won’t need to quarantine upon arrival.

While restrictions have been eased for passengers returning into the UK, the airport is reminding anyone planning to travel overseas to check the requirements in place within the countries that are being travelled to.

Michael Grimes, EMA’s Director of Customer Services and Security, says:

“We look forward to welcming passengers to EMA in the next couple of weeks. For many people this may be the first overseas trip they have taken since the start of the pandemic, and we want the process of travelling through our airport to be as seamless as possible. Please do look at what documentation you may need before check-in, and what is required of you when you get to your destinations as rules vary from country to country”.

The airlines that serve EMA are, between them, flying to more than 30 destinations for the remainder of February. These include winter sunshine favourites in southern Spain and the Canaries as well as major ski resorts.

The most popular destinations continue to be those where sunshine can be found which is reflected in the number of flights to these places. Tenerife, Alicante, Lanzarote and Malaga top the list while there is also strong demand for trips closer to home in Dublin.

The airport hopes that February half-term will mark the start of a sustained period of recovery following two of the most challenging years for the aviation sector. If EMA hits its target of welcoming three million passengers through the airport this year, that would equate to 80% of pre-Covid levels. This would be a significant improvement on last year when, for much of the peak summer season, passenger levels did not exceed 30% of pre-Covid volumes.

In preparation for a busier period, the airport and onsite business partners are recruiting to roles across many functions, from security to hospitality. To promote current vacancies, a jobs fair is being held at the airport on Saturday 26 February 10am-2pm where job seekers can meet employers face-to-face and find out more about available roles.

Michael Grimes adds: “We’re really excited about our peak season which runs from 1 April to the end of October. Hopefully the airport will resemble more of what it was like pre-Covid. We’re working hard to ensure that people’s experience of using EMA is really positive, and that we make our customers’ journey as easy as possible, especially as many people won’t have flown for a while. Our recruitment drive is underway as we look to increase our workforce in readiness for an influx of happy holiday-makers in the coming weeks and months.”

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