COVID-19 Update 51
Monday 1 June 2020
Dear AOA Member,
I hope you were able to enjoy the great weather this weekend.
Further media stories on Sunday and Monday have focused on the Government’s intention to bring in quarantine measures from the 8th June, and the possibility of establishing air bridges with important markets and destinations. The AOA team has continued to brief MPs on the facts and press the Government for further details as we approach the implementation date. The legislation to enact the policy is due to be laid before the House of Commons early this week, and we will be monitoring this to see if there are any opportunities for industry’s voice to be heard. Otherwise, we’ll be attending a second meeting of the implementation group for the quarantine tomorrow, so will hopefully be able to report further details to you then.
Following last week’s announcement of additional flexibility and new terms for the Job Retention Scheme, the AOA has been engaging with CBI to better understand the detail and state of play for the aviation sector. As we have seen across the economy, there is a concern regarding the introduction of the test, track and trace system launched by the Government and how it might affect a workforce, and whether there will be any support for companies that find a large proportion of their workforce having to self-isolate. We’ll continue to seek answers on this, as well as pressing our broader ask for the Job Retention Scheme to be extended in-line with aviation’s projected slow recovery.
Finally, an update on Brexit, as we reach June – a month that was tipped to be a crucial watershed moment in negotiations on the future relationship. Many observers are citing a lack of political will and direction for the negotiations and believe that progress made this month will largely be technical in nature. It is thought that any high-level summit which takes place this month will be used to set the ambition for a loose framework or bare-bones deal by September, effectively delaying any decision on extension or no-deal contingencies until the autumn. With the COVID-19 crisis heavily impacting business resilience, contingency arrangements for a potential ‘cliff-edge’ scenario on December 31 are going to be ever more important as negotiations continue to falter. The AOA will continue to make the point that without a Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement, the aviation industry will have to rely on unilateral contingency measures, likely agreed at the eleventh hour, as was the case with previous “no-deal” scenarios in 2019.