Aviation chiefs have accused chancellor Rishi Sunak of failing to even acknowledge the sector in his Budget on Wednesday (3 March).
Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye branded Sunak’s statement "a missed opportunity to ensure the sector plays a key role in the country’s economic recovery".
Meanwhile, Brian Strutton, general secretary of pilots union Balpa, spoke of his "absolute dismay" that aviation did not feature in the chancellor’s plans.
“The chancellor talks about protecting jobs and livelihoods, fixing public finances and laying the foundations for the future economy, and yet he continues to ignore the UK’s aviation sector," said Heathrow chief executive Holland-Kaye.
"He clearly doesn’t understand all three depend on a strong aviation sector delivering the trade, tourism and investment that power vast parts of the British economy.
"Failing to even mention aviation, let alone provide full business rates relief for airports in today’s Budget, is a missed opportunity to ensure the sector can play a key role in the country’s economic recovery.
"The absence of any meaningful support from the government in the face of tough restrictions which have ground travel to a halt will weaken the sector and limit UK growth at the time it is needed most.”
Strutton added: “While there was sector-specific money for non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure, gyms, personal care, arts, culture and the housing sector, there was not one word of backing for our vital sector.
“This is a massive slap in the face for the industry that has supported repatriations, brought in vital supplies and faced never-ending changes to restrictions and rules and a total shutdown as a result of government policy.
“Mr Sunak has totally abandoned aviation and failed to acknowledge just how difficult times are for the sector right now. This budget could push many airlines further in to a death spiral and cost even more jobs.
“We must now look to the vital Global Taskforce report on 12 April to give our aviation industry certainty and security and help us to plan a way though this crisis.”