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BALPA beating the drum for support for aviation

by Brian Strutton BALPA General Secretary

A year ago, as the Covid crisis began to grip the world, BALPA recognised the severity of the situation and called for urgent action to help protect aviation. A year on, we are still in the grip of that crisis and as yet, significant help for UK aviation has yet to arrive from the Government.

Early on the ministers talked of a bespoke package of financial support. That failed to materialise.

We were promised a clear roadmap to recovery. That was slow to come and unclear when it did arrive.

We were told the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce would provide answers. But its overly cautious report failed to give us concrete opening dates and instead of helping to shore up public confidence, it’s created more confusion and concern over where is safe to travel and the costs people will incur due to testing rules.

That’s why BALPA continues to beat the drum, lobbying for support and calling for direct action to provide UK aviation with the support it needs and deserves.

Our once thriving industry has suffered greatly. There have been many job losses as airlines have scaled back and looked for ways to survive. Now as the world looks towards better times, our Government must back UK aviation and ensure we are able to compete when the world opens up again. We need to see the Government deploy financial help or UK aviation will sink as global competitors look on.

BALPA is calling for concrete opening dates for overseas travel and for a solid, easy to understand list of countries that are safe to travel to. The public, who have been trapped in lockdowns and restrictions are eager to resume travel and to be reunited with loved ones around the globe, but they need confidence, they need certainty.

We also need urgent financial support for this vital industry which has been shut down by the Government and which is now running on empty. We have called time and again for help and we need our call to be answered.

It would be a shame for UK aviation to flounder now, when there are positive signs that there is a way out of this crisis. So once again we are highlighting the seriousness of the situation and demanding assistance that will see aviation through this crisis and help UK aviation come back strongly to regain its place as a world leading industry.