Our comment on the need for Treasury support for UK airlines

December 20th, 2021

Commenting on the need for Treasury support for UK airlines, Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, the industry body representing UK-registered carriers, said:

“Aviation has received no direct support since the end of furlough and yet until recently was the only sector with direct restrictions. We are approaching the key booking period for the year and consumer sentiment is shot to pieces, due to the testing requirements imposed on travel that can cost hundreds of pounds when free NHS tests are available in other sectors.

 “We have a bleak few months ahead with potentially little to no revenue, yet still need to be able to deliver for passengers and UK plc in the spring and summer. The cost to the wider economy will be hundreds of millions of pounds if we can’t open up – not to mention the jobs and skills that will be lost from the sector, many permanently, across all parts of the UK. We support 500,000 direct jobs. These can’t be sustained if there is no demand. 

 “Offering more debt to a sector that has already borrowed billions of pounds is not sustainable. Last March the Chancellor asked airlines to ‘pursue all possible actions to preserve cash and maximise liquidity’. We’ve done this – and more. Aviation has to be treated on a par with the domestic economy.

 “Unless Government takes action to remove the remaining emergency travel restrictions, that it admits are increasingly redundent as Omicron becomes the dominant variant, the Chancellor must urgently come to the table with economic support for the aviation industry.”