Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 95

Friday 31 July 2020

Dear AOA Member,

This morning, I hosted a briefing session with Parliamentarians and a number of our airport CEOs, in order to demonstrate the scale of the challenge facing the sector and the urgently needed support. I outlined the extent to which quarantine measures had hamstrung the aviation industry’s restart and while we understand the public health imperative, the manner by which Government announced the exclusion of Spain from the exempted countries list did nothing for consumer confidence in travel more broadly. AOA will follow-up with Parliamentarians who attended with a briefing note and continue to engage with others so that they can put forward our arguments to Government.

The recent re-imposing of travel restrictions on selected countries has led to Airports Council International Europe (ACI EUROPE), Airlines for Europe (A4E) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) today writing a joint letter to Prime Ministers, Transport, Health and Home Affairs Ministers across the European Union, Schengen and the UK, setting out deep concerns over their failure to implement coherent and science-based approaches to travel restrictions. This chimes well with what AOA has been saying in our media and lobbying work to date.

This afternoon the Prime Minister at the Downing Street press briefing has put on the brakes to further easing of restrictions due to start tomorrow in England until 15 August at the earliest – this includes the opening of casinos, bowling alleys, indoor theatres and concerts. Face covering rules will be extended to additional settings in England from 8 August, including museums, galleries, cinemas and places of worship. There will be a greater police presence to enforce this. This comes after four million people in Northern England face new restrictions after a spike in coronavirus cases. The Scottish government has also issued advice to Scottish residents that they should not undertake unnecessary travel to the affected areas in the north of England.

Items of note:

  • As part of the Plan for Jobs, the Chancellor announced the introduction of the Job Retention Bonus (JRB). Today further information on the JRB can be found here where it includes the eligibility criteria for the JRB. Full guidance, including on how employers will be able to claim the JRB, will be available by the end of September.
  • Further details on the UK-EU future relationship negotiations can be found with the terms of reference here
  • Webinar hosted by ICAO on 4 August at 0800 EDT (Montreal time) – 2 hour free webinar: Runway Safety: A Key to Re-building Confidence post-COVID19.

Have a lovely weekend.

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive