COVID-19 Update 55
Friday 5 June 2020
Dear AOA Member,
Yesterday evening, I attended a roundtable discussion hosted by Home Secretary Priti Patel, and Aviation Minister, Kelly Tolhurst, on the quarantine measures. I made clear the industry’s position on the policy and warned of the financial consequences for airports and for the wider economy. It was agreed by most on the call that the International Travel Corridors concept offers a sensible and safe mechanism through which the quarantine measures could be lifted and thus we are keen to work with Government to progress this urgently. In addition, industry is keen to understand the process and criteria against which the policy will be reviewed (the policy must be reviewed every 21 days). The Home Secretary committed to engaging more with the industry and her colleagues across Government on the review.
AOA this morning met with officials from the Department for Transport’s EU Exit team to discuss the hot-topic of yesteryear, Brexit. There was optimism that the fourth round of negotiations on the aviation relationship had made good progress with a few key sticking points remaining. Obviously progress on aviation has to be seen in the context of the wider negotiations where the main stumbling blocks appear to be the level-playing field and fisheries. The EU maintains its policy of a comprehensive deal and is still unwilling to consider the separation of any issue from the main deal on the future relationship. AOA also discussed with officials the plans for a potential “non-negotiated” outcome, or no-deal as it used to be known; if a deal is not forthcoming it appears that both sides would be willing to once again consider unilateral regulatory and recognition actions in order to keep aviation going, as had been the case in previous potential no-deal scenarios.
Throughout the day, AOA met with various colleagues across the sector, including IATA and UKTRF, to discuss the quarantine policy, International Travel Corridors, and consumer confidence in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. We’re starting to see the emergence of data and trends, such as this information portal from Deloitte, which suggest that consumers are now more weary of air travel in particular; this perhaps shows the extent to which industry must reassure and put in-place all necessary measures to create as safe and healthy an environment as possible for passengers returning to the air. And just a reminder that in order to help UK airports create that environment, the AOA’s non-airport members are continuing to develop new solutions and products to assist with this which they are listing on our COVID-19 platform which you can find here.
I hope you all have a relaxing weekend.