Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 32

Friday 1 May 2020

Dear AOA Member,

As it is Friday, we are looking ahead at the AOA to what will be our focus next week. On Wednesday, the DfT’s Restart, Recovery and Engagement unit’s Steering Group is expected to have its first meeting. We wrote to the Aviation Minister today to ask for more urgency behind the work on a baseline for health measures (copy here). We also asked in that letter for clarity on what the agenda will be for the first meeting. As we have heard from airports, the lack of terms of reference for the group makes it difficult to gauge exactly the role and remit of this group and thus how we can make sure it is operating as best it can.

Also on Wednesday next week there will be a hearing by the Transport Select Committee. The AOA has offered to speak as a witness, in addition to providing written evidence – we will keep you updated on our progress on this.

Our media work continues, with AOA representatives this morning on BBC Radio 5Live Breakfast to discuss aviation’s restart in general and BBC 3 Counties Radio on the resumption of Wizz Air flights respectively. Also in the news today, the DfT has announced that air passenger services between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will be safeguarded through a government investment of £5.7 million. We have made clear to Government that this type of support should be available to all airports and airlines in the UK for key routes.

A couple of other things that you might find of interest:

  • The European Commission has published a package of proposed measures to support the transport sector, including on ground-handling services (authorising the extension of contracts to avoid complex tenders, and allowing concessions that will prevent airports from getting blocked should ground-handling companies go bankrupt) and temporary modifications of air carrier licensing rules to ease financial problems. These now need to be approved by the other European institutions.
  • The Boston Consulting Group have launched an interesting Travel Recovery Insights Portal

Finally, don’t forget the webpage we have set up for non-airport members to publicise COVID-19-related products and services. The first products are going up, and we hope to publish more in the coming days.

Have a good weekend,

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive