The Government’s announcement of an extension to the Furlough scheme is welcome news for everyone employed in the aviation sector but the impact of COVID, its lockdowns and travel restrictions is so great that the sector remains in a perilous state. We urge employers to use the extended scheme to help protect jobs, but we need to do more.
Unless something changes it is unlikely that aviation will recover to be the competitive international business it was. At one time LHR and associated businesses were the 5th largest contributor to the UK economy. Not anymore, It is also no longer the busiest international airport being overtaken by CDG in Paris. Add to this the broader national view with LGW, GLA, CWL, BFS all standing virtually idle you begin to appreciate the depth of the problem.
Some parliamentarians recognise that aviation is in great difficulty but too many do not and have their attention focussed elsewhere. As such, if you have not done so yet we urge you to lobby your MP for the Government to review its support for the industry and to come forward with new proposals to help get us flying again.
Such proposals could include but are not limited to
- A moratorium on airport departures tax
- The introduction of an effective pre-flight testing regime.
- Working with other countries to introduce similar pre flight testing so that travel can resume.
- A sponsored cadet scheme to ensure we have pilots in the future.
- Extending duty free allowances
- Working with airlines and operators to determine specific financial support to secure a viable industry long-term.
- Working to gain public support and confidence in the industry and its efforts to keep everyone safe and provide sustainable green transport for the future
- All within the next 2 months.