Lack of action risks the demise of UK aviation

Thursday 24th September 2020

Following the Chancellor’s statement unveiling the Winter Economic Plan, AOA Chief Executive Karen Dee said:

“Once again the Government has failed to recognise the dire situation facing UK airports and provide much needed financial support.  For months and months the aviation industry has called for targeted support, but still nothing is forthcoming.  The Government appears blind to the scale and urgency of the crisis facing the UK’s airports.

“Over the course of the pandemic, UK airports have been forced to effectively shutdown to commercial traffic, leaving them with – at worst – 99% fewer passengers almost overnight. Even with the existing Government support, the loss of revenue is enormous:

  • Heathrow has reported pre-tax losses for the first six months of 2020 of £1.1bn
  • Gatwick has reported pre-tax losses the first six months of 2020 of £343m
  • Significant financial and job losses throughout the UK’s network of regional airports
  • Projections by the AOA show that up 110,00 airport and airport related jobs are at risk

“Our industry is on its knees and we need  the promised Aviation Recovery Package of support now. This must start with the introduction of testing and other mechanisms that allow aviation to open and operate. The continued dithering and delay on testing by Government must end with the introduction a robust testing system without any further delays.

“Airports across the UK need help now to survive the challenging winter months including business rates relief for airports in England and Wales, continuation of VAT-free sales airside, funding for the CAA, a temporary suspension of APD and a longer term package of financial support that promotes, protects and enhances our global connectivity as our sector looks towards the long journey to recovery.

“The future of UK connectivity and global Britain is being put at risk by the continued lack of action from the Government it is essential that they deliver this support and deliver it now.”