LONDON (Reuters) – UK airlines, airports and aviation manufacturers have pleaded for immediate government financial support and a longer-term recovery plan after COVID-19 ceases to travel and news testing demands dashed rebound hopes.
Three trade bodies said they wrote to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday to demand a package of measures including the temporary suspension of trade tariffs and a tax on flights, additional loans for airlines and access to funds for the aerospace supply chain.
Help was needed to “protect businesses from the threat to their survival” posed by the pandemic and to prevent more jobs from being threatened, said Airlines UK, which represents British Airways, easyJet and others, the British Aerospace and Airport Operators Association. ADS trade body.
Current lockdowns in Britain prohibit most international travel. UK theft volumes are down 80% from 2019 and more than 45,000 jobs have already been lost in the sector, with more threats, the groups said.
The new rules introduced by Britain on Monday, which require a negative pre-departure test for travelers plus a quarantine period on arrival, are another blow they warned.
The government should plan to reintroduce non-quarantine travel and a cheaper testing regime to help resume aviation once the vaccines are deployed, they said.
“To achieve a strong global economic recovery from this crisis, the UK must support the aviation and aerospace industries that connect us to global trading partners and provide vital jobs in all parts of the country.” ADS chief executive Paul Everitt said in a statement.
The British government announced on Saturday that it would grant financial aid to airports before the end of March.
The country’s aviation industry has repeatedly asked the government for help during the crisis, but has so far mainly benefited only from support schemes available to all industries.
Reporting by Sarah Young; Edited by Elaine Hardcastle