Aviation group Airlines UK has written to chancellor Rishi Sunak to call for a range of new measures to help the industry to survive the new Covid-19 lockdown.
In the letter, Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade said that the next few weeks were “even more critical” for the sector and called for a “comprehensive support and recovery package for aviation”.
This package should include the continuation of the furlough scheme for aviation through the winter season until at least March 2021, as well as more grants and loans to support carriers and a 12-month APD waiver.
Airlines UK is also calling for the government to subsidise private Covid-19 testing “to ensure cost is not a barrier to take-up once a UK test and release scheme is implemented”.
“Alongside economic support, we continue to urge steps to allow travel to safely return at meaningful levels while we are still living with the virus, and this must be through a UK testing regime that is underway by December, within a framework whose goal is rapid, pre-departure testing as the international standard,” adds Alderslade.
“We also support a review of the travel corridor system to make it more targeted and regionalised, and the removal of the global FCDO travel advice so that advice against non-essential travel is restricted only to destinations where risk to travellers is far higher than at home.”
Airlines UK’s latest plea came after Huw Merriman, chair of the House of Commons’ transport committee, urged prime minister Boris Johnson to make a “prompt decision” to reduce the 14-day quarantine period to support aviation following the end of the current national lockdown on 2 December.
Pilots union Balpa has also demanded urgent action from the government on six key issues as “crunch time” approaches for the aviation industry.