Pilots union Balpa has called for the UK government to financially support the airline industry through the coronavirus crisis.
Balpa issued the ‘Mayday’ appeal for the government to create a “package of support” after this week’s announcement of 12,000 potential redundancies by British Airways and Ryanair saying it could axe up to 3,000 staff.
“The government must recognise that global trade and economic recovery will be severely impacted if our world-leading aviation industry is allowed to falter, while its competitors are propped up by their governments,” said Balpa in a statement.
The union stressed the UK aviation industry contributed at least £22 billion to the UK economy and 230,000 jobs before the pandemic struck.
Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton added that aviation workers were now facing a “tsunami” of job losses with fleets largely grounded across the country.
“There is no more time for delay,” he said. “The UK government should follow the example set by others in Europe and around the world, recognise that aviation is vital to the UK economy and keep to the promise made by the chancellor on 17 March to help airlines.
“Without swift action, UK aviation will fall behind our global competitors and it simply won’t be there to aid recovery when the demand returns.
“Around the world we are seeing other governments back their airlines and this will distort the global market place and leave the UK floundering.”
“With full Brexit looming at the end of this year, it would be a disaster.”