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BALPA response to updated traffic light system

Acting General Secretary Martin Chalk said:

“This is another highly disappointing update. Aviation has lost a second summer to Covid and unless the Government changes approach, it will not properly recover until at least next year.

“Despite being pivotal to the UK’s economic recovery, the fact that the furlough scheme is still set to end in just a few weeks shows that the Government is throwing aviation and all the high skilled workers in it under the bus.

“The point of the furlough scheme – to protect otherwise viable industries whilst Government restrictions prevented business as usual – still blatantly applies to aviation. BALPA continues to call for a sector specific extension to furlough.

“Pilots collected PPE, saving the Government’s blushes; pilots repatriated our fellow citizens before anyone was vaccinated and pilots fetched the vaccines to enable the UK population to escape lockdown. Where are the Government now we want either help or to escape lockdown?

“The Government continues to keep aviation locked down, whilst the rest of Europe recovers much faster than the UK. “

Notes to editors:

  • The Civil Aviation Authority recently published their passenger number data for Q2 2021: a 92% drop in passenger numbers compared to Q2 2019, pre Covid. After a dismal 2020, we have half of the 2021 summer season gone with effectively no business yet the same fixed overheads, and little change in the first half of Q3 undoubtedly.
  • European wide latest data shows that the worst three airports in the whole of Europe are all in the UK – Gatwick, Manchester and Heathrow.