The aviation sector is “working round the clock” to bring home passengers stranded overseas due to the coronavirus crisis.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said the government would stand by airlines and airports, and reiterated the government was working through a series of measures to support the sector – which he said would be announced “shortly”.
However, both Shapps and Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, the trade body for UK registered airlines, said that the immediate priority was bringing Britons home through commercial means rather than resorting to state-backed repatriation flights as countries impose increasingly stringent border restrictions.
Shapps chaired a call on Wednesday (18 March) with airlines and airports after the chancellor pledged dedicated support for the sector.
And in a statement, he confirmed the Department for Transport and the Treasury were collaborating to develop “a range of measures to support the industry in the coming days” to help aviation manage the impact of the coronavirus, which he said was having a “crippling effect” on the aviation industry.