The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has revealed the UK’s top three airports affected by the Covid pandemic.
BALPA said new data it has analysed showed UK aviation was suffering more than European competitors and needed urgent Government help. The association is highlighting the dire effect that restrictions are having on UK aviation ahead of this week’s traffic light system update. BALPA said the data showed the country was “lagging” behind its European competitors.
The latest information from Eurocontrol published in mid-August revealed that all of the top three worst affected airports in Europe were in the UK with Gatwick rated worst affected, followed by Manchester and Heathrow.
BALPA said it was vital for the Government to announce winter financial support for the sector including a six month extension of furlough, to recognise that ongoing strict Government travel restrictions were constraining recovery for UK aviation. The association added that ministers needed to ensure safe countries are added to the green list as soon as possible and take an active role in repairing public confidence in international travel.
Association calling for extension to furlough scheme
BALPA has highlighted how the ongoing restrictions have denied a profitable and self-sustaining summer season. Travel and aviation are the last sectors to come out of lockdown and the association said it was vital the furlough scheme was extended to protect the many skilled jobs that are at risk.
BALPA Acting General Secretary Martin Chalk said: “It is devasting to watch Government restrictions destroy the once world leading UK aviation industry. These dire figures show it is not the virus that’s killing the sector, but the artificial, over cautious Government restrictions on international travel.”
UK aviation sector could “fall further behind” European counterparts
“The Government has handed our aviation industry the gold, silver and bronze medal for worst affected airports in Europe: a shameful and deeply damaging prize.
“The UK is now clearly lagging behind our European competitors. We need the Government to recognise the damaging impact its restrictions continue to have on UK aviation and for them to support the only industry still in lockdown by providing a sector specific extension to furlough.”
“If we don’t see these measures in place we could see more job losses imminently and UK aviation will fall even further behind its competitors.”