COVID-19 Update 73
Wednesday 1 July 2020
Dear AOA Member,
Last night and this morning there have sadly been further stories regarding large job losses in the aviation sector and unfortunately I fear this will not be the last. In today’s Prime Minister Questions the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, called for the extension of the furlough scheme to those parts of the economy still at risk. Labour has been pushing for an extension of the scheme to sectors such as aviation, retail and hospitality. This afternoon I met with Jim McMahon and Mike Kane, Shadow Transport Secretary and Shadow Aviation Minister, to discuss Labour’s position. We discussed quarantine measures and the feasibility of future testing regimes, they were particularly interested in how or whether other countries would reciprocate quarantine-free access once the UK Government had announced its list of permitted countries. We also discussed regional connectivity, the continuing need for an aviation sector support package – which Labour are supportive of – and consumer confidence. We will continue our own lobbying efforts for sector-specific support and extension of employment support beyond October.
Today I received the following letter from Border Force regarding health measures at the border which highlights continuing requirements as quarantine measures are eased. Industry communications and support with data collection from passengers upon arrival are vital. The letter goes on to say that the Department for Transport and the Home Office will provide more information to airlines regarding changes to the border measures, including the list of exempt countries as soon as possible. This will be distributed through updating gov.uk information, updating the aviation operational guidance and an updated partner pack. We will keep you informed as and when this information is released.
Finally, on slots, I wrote yesterday evening to the Transport Secretary and Aviation Minister to outline airport concerns with recent calls for the 80-20 use-it-or-lose-it slot waiver to be extended beyond October and into the winter season. The letter outlined AOA’s position and brings us into alignment with our European sister association, ACI EUROPE. My team and I will continue discussions with members as we head towards October to ensure our approach continues to reflect prevailing circumstances.
Other items of note
- The AOA Health and Safety working group met this morning to continue discussions on a number of restart and recovery-related matters. Members discussed, amongst other things, UV cleaning trials, adoption of protective equipment for staff and passengers (masks, gloves etc), and how to build further passenger confidence in airport public health actions.