COVID-19 Update 68
Wednesday 24 June 2020
Dear AOA Member,
This morning, the Telegraph ran a story from the AOA, in which the airport jobs at risk, as a result of the continued impact of the COVID-19 crisis, were highlighted. I called on the Government to take robust action to support the UK’s beleaguered aviation sector, in the wake of large-scale expected job losses at airport campuses across the country. We also continued our call for key policy asks such as the review of the quarantine measures and to ask the Government to grant Business Rates Relief to English and Welsh airports. As many of you will have seen, events have taken over this afternoon as it was announced that Swissport will be halving its UK workforce with potential jobs losses of over 4,500. AOA will continue to make sure the industry’s voice is heard by ministers and officials and in the wider media. Our full press release on employment at UK airports can be viewed here.
The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP appeared in front of the Transport Select Committee this morning. AOA briefed participating MPs ahead of the session, which covered the impact of COVID-19 on all transport sectors. The Secretary of State said that he understood the “pain” that aviation was going through and will say more about international travel corridors on the 29 June, committing to making the announcement in Parliament first and assuring MPs that the system would be rational. The full proceedings can be viewed here.
Finally, the Aviation Minister, Kelly Tolhurst, replied to the letter AOA sent jointly with AirlinesUK to ask the Government to fund the Civil Aviation Authority for the remainder of the 2020/2021 charging period. In the letter, the Minister recognised the strain faced by the aviation sector, but outlined the legal requirements placed on the CAA with regard to charging and used these to justify the lack of a waiver for industry charges. The Minister also highlighted the recent extension to the deferred increase in CAA charges; the expected increase for 2020/2021 was deferred initially until 30 June 2020, this has now been further delayed until 30 September 2020.
Other items of note:
- Ministers today have published updated guidance providing instructions for pub landlords, hairdressers, hoteliers and other service industry bosses to follow when England emerges from lockdown in 10 days’ time and we are in the new normal. The documents provide advice on reconfiguring seating, self-service, booking in advance, and ordering online or through apps.