Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 34

Tuesday 5 May 2020

Dear AOA Member,

The news from Virgin Atlantic about withdrawing for the time being from London Gatwick Airport is a stark reminder of the major consequences COVID-19 is having on the aviation industry and particularly the staff whose jobs are reliant on airlines and airports’ success. I’m sure it will feature heavily at the Transport Select Committee tomorrow and the first meeting of the DfT’s Restart, Recovery and Engagement Unit. We will be renewing our calls for the Government to support us through this difficult time but also to provide us with a clear framework, support and measures necessary to ensure the successful restart of aviation.

I flagged in yesterday’s email that we would have our regular calls with the Aviation Minister, but these have now been pushed back to Thursday and I will feed back afterwards.

We’ve been liaising with ACI EUROPE today on airlines requesting UK airports to implement draft guidance by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) ahead of restarting operations. There is, as yet, no agreement within EASA on these measures and the AOA and ACI share concerns that individual airlines are jumping the gun a bit. It shows how important it is that the DfT’s work on the health measures makes progress urgently. While on the subject of EASA, they have published their latest Safety Information Bulletin on the safe restart of aerodrome operations, which you can find here.

Finally, a number of things you might find helpful:

  • InterVistas published an updated paper on scenarios for recovery at the end of April, which may still be of interest. They’ve also published a paper on considerations in the passenger terminal.
  • The Government has updated its guidance on educational travel, though the update does not contain much new information.
  • The Government has announced that any working parent usually eligible for 30-hours free childcare or Tax-Free Childcare will remain eligible if they fall below the minimum income requirement due to COVID-19. Subject to Parliamentary approval, parents who are critical workers will also remain eligible for these entitlements if their income has increased over the maximum threshold during the COVID-19 pandemic (including in the transport sector).

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive