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Aviation in crisis: PM must commit to a roadmap out and economic support

With a week to go before the Government is expected to announce its roadmap to COVID-19 Recovery, The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has written to the Prime Minister to highlight the acute crisis aviation is facing due to COVID-19 and to again call for a bespoke support package of support for the aviation sector.

In the letter BALPA highlights a “three-pronged problem” that has led to a crisis point for aviation: a lack of economic support, a lack of a clear roadmap out of the crisis and mixed messages from Ministers on summer holidays.

BALPA says that while pilots understand the difficult decisions ministers are having to make to protect public health, the effect of such decisions has been disastrous for UK aviation which has effectively been shut down. Tens of thousands of people in the travel industry are now out of work or furloughed and careers and livelihoods have been permanently damaged.

The pilots’ union has urged the Prime Minister to include a bespoke economic package for the aviation industry, compensation for the effective shutting down of UK aviation and a clear action plan for recovery to build public confidence.

The letter from BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, states:

“Government policy has effectively shut down UK aviation. We understand the reasoning behind those decisions, but the effects have already been disastrous…

“…without your support now, we are concerned that it [UK aviation] simply will not survive in anything like its current form.”

“As I see it there are two choices: change government policy to end the aviation shutdown and in the meantime provide significant economic support; or sacrifice our aviation industry, which would be a disaster for UK plc.

“I urge the Government to save UK aviation.”