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Aviation needs to survive beyond coronavirus crisis to help economy recover

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has said that without significant government support now there may not be a UK aviation industry left. The pilots’ union wants the government to look ahead to the end of the crisis and recognise the crucial role aviation will play in helping power the recovery.

The following UK airlines have made the latest announcements:

  • SAS/CAE Parc  – SAS UK and Ireland is grounding all aircraft for one month from 18th March; all staff going on unpaid leave
  • TUI – from this week, TUI is grounding all aircraft until further notice
  • Virgin – cash-preservation measures being discussed
  • Ryanair – network-wide reduction in flying, staff on enforced unpaid leave
  • easyJet – announced the majority of its fleet will be grounded
  • IAG – announced a 75% reduction in flying

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:

“The UK aviation industry supports around half a million jobs – while times are tough for the industry and no doubt jobs will be affected in the short-term, if the industry is left to crumble entirely the long-term impact on our economy could be devastating.

“Maintaining our global connections when we’ve made it to the other side of this crisis is desperately important.

“Those in power must keep one eye on the future, as well as tackling the immediate threat.

“The effect may be temporary but we are facing a near total shutdown of UK aviation for the next two months at least. Airlines cannot survive that without help and Government needs to step in now with guarantees and funding.

“That means ensuring that the people who make this industry work are supported through this crisis.”