Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 24

Tuesday 21 April 2020

Dear AOA Member,

Today, we joined the Aviation Minister for our weekly airport call and Business Minister Paul Scully stood in for the Business Secretary on our regular call with him. The call with the Business Minister focused predominantly on the loan schemes, and some of the challenges businesses have faced when trying to access them, as well as restart. Like AOA, a number of other trade associations are concerned around the lead-in time for restart to ensure supply chains are restarted in time and thinking through social distancing and other measures carefully. This is a point we are also making to DfT, e.g. around the supply chains for airport food and drink outlets, and the challenge of ensuring health measures are effective but also correspond to what the public perceive to be effective.

On the call with the Aviation Minister, we talked through a number of ongoing issues with the Job Retention Scheme and the loan schemes. A new issue that has arisen is that Border Force contacted some airports yesterday to discuss additional measures they wish to see the airport put in place in immigration and customs areas. DfT and AOA will be contacting Border Force for further information but if your airports has been contacted by them about additional measures for now and during the restart/recovery phase, please do let me know. Our message to the Minister on this was that it underlined the importance of coordinated work across Government and recognition of the severe financial challenge airports are under when agencies and other Government bodies request airports to take certain actions.

Two other things you might find interesting:

  • The Centre for Cities has analysed which cities will suffer the greatest economic impact as a result of COVID-19. They estimate one in five jobs in areas that depend on the aviation industry are vulnerable to the economic impacts of COVID-19. While this is a stark analysis, it independently underlines the AOA’s message to Government about the importance of aviation. The BBC referenced it today in an article on airport impacts.
  • The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched a new marketing campaign, #TogetherInTravel, aimed at galvanizing the global travel and tourism community and showing how the sector is a vital part of life. The campaign encourages travellers from around the world to share the hashtag #TogetherInTravel along with a video uniting everyone. Here’s a link for businesses that explains how they can get involved in the campaign and here’s the campaign microsite itself.

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive