Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Array

UK risks destroying aviation industry with no support, Heathrow boss says

Headline

tiamin rice

Britain risks destroying its aviation sector and smothering any broader economic recovery after it failed to follow the likes of the U.S. and France in propping up its airlines, an official said.

The Head of London Heathrow Airport disclosed this on Friday.

Europe’s biggest airport said trade had disappeared in April, with passenger numbers set to fall by 97 per cent  leaving many airlines such as Britain’s Virgin Atlantic close to collapse.

“It is disappointing that the UK government stands out globally as being one of the few countries not to be supporting its aviation sector,” Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye, said.

See also  Nigerian govt insists IPOB finance hqtrs based in France

“I think it comes back to a lack of understanding, perhaps of just how vital aviation is to the rest of the economy.”

See also  Nigerian govt insists IPOB finance hqtrs based in France

Global aviation has come to a near standstill as governments around the world lock down their economies to prevent the spread of COVID-19, forcing airlines to cut or suspend thousands of staff, park up planes and seek government bailouts.

Virgin Atlantic has said for weeks it is in talks with the British government about a bailout package and its largest owner, Richard Branson, has said it will go bust without one.

Pilots union BALPA responded to Friday’s news that Ryanair was cutting 3,000 jobs by saying the government needed to “stop daydreaming” and step in.

See also  COVID-19: Toyota doubles profit outlook to 1.3trn yen

In response, the government says it is providing support through tax breaks, furloughing salary schemes and offering loans.

“We have the third biggest aviation sector in the world and if we don’t take the right action now, we could lose it,” Holland-Kaye said.

The airport is talking to major hubs around the world to agree a set of health standards similar to security checks for once restrictions lift.

Passengers should expect temperature checks, more automation to reduce human contact and the wearing of masks on flights.

See also  France imposes fine on Google, Amazon
See also  22 schools closed over rise in COVID-19 cases

It believes the concept of social distancing would not work for airports and airlines.

“Far fewer people would be able to fly. Many of the routes wouldn’t be viable and that would lead to even more job losses in the aviation sector,” he said.

“More fundamentally, it would cut off the UK from its key trading markets.

“Passenger jets out of Heathrow carry 40 per cent of the UK’s imports and exports.

“If they won’t have those passenger planes, then we can’t get the UK economy firing on all cylinders.”

Reuters/NAN

Related News

Latest News

cosgrove
atrk atrk atrk atrk atrk atrk atrk atrk atrk atrk