UK airlines say further support needed if travel remains closed
Britain-based airlines have told the government they will need industry-specific support to help them survive if COVID-19 rules continue to keep travel markets closed.
Companies such as British Airways (ICAG.L), easyJet (EZJ.L) and Ryanair (RYA.I) are in a deepening crisis after Britain’s plan to resume travel fell on May 17 following a four and a half month ban on vacation abroad. far from their expectations.
Britons are still discouraged from traveling to most countries, and since reopening in May, the government has tightened the rules, removing one of the few open destinations, Portugal, from a safe travel list.
As July and August approach, the months when airlines make most of their profits, there are fears that the summer season may be lost for the second year in a row, putting airline viability and jobs at risk.
“If a meaningful reopening is not possible during the summer … then targeted economic support will be essential to ensure that UK airlines are able to reach the point where a restart is possible, to protect the tens of thousands jobs, “the industry said Thursday in the UK Airlines lobby in a letter to Finance Minister Rishi Sunak.
By the end of September, government support programs to protect jobs are also set to end, a concern for airlines that could still be grounded due to overseas travel restrictions.
Airlines UK has said it wants Sunak to extend the leave of aviation workers until the end of April 2022, give airlines more time to repay government COVID-19 loans and launch a “subsidy” program. restart “to help airlines pay to maintain planes they can’t use.
In the letter, the airlines said their preference would be for travel to resume and be unrestricted for those vaccinated. But policy and recent government comments suggest this is unlikely.
This puts UK airlines at a disadvantage compared to their counterparts in Europe, as countries begin to allow more travel, while Britain sticks to its 10-day quarantine and test requirements.
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