Low cost airline easyJet’s warning to the government that it is likely to need “bespoke financial assistance”, is echoed across the entire aviation industry, Unite said today (October 8).
Unite national officer for aviation Oliver Richardson said, “easyJet’s financial predicament is the opposite of an isolated call, aviation companies across the UK, from airlines to airports and throughout its supply chain, are crying out for bespoke support.
“The chancellor first promised sector specific support to the aviation industry in March, seven long months ago. An aviation recovery plan was first mooted over a month ago, but neither have materialised.
“As a consequence tens of thousands of jobs have already been needlessly lost and even more jobs are hanging in the balance,” he added.
“The government must up its game and provide targeted sector specific support that has strict strings attached to preserve jobs, protect the communities which rely on aviation for their economic prosperity and ensure that regional and national connectivity is first secured and then enhanced.”
Together with the TUC and all aviation unions, Unite is calling for the government to take on the economic and fiscal measures needed to support the sector.
These include the extension of, and modifications to, the coronavirus job retention scheme to protect employment in the aviation sector as well as the suspension of air passenger duty.
Unite is also calling for public service obligation routes to ensure regional connectivity; business rate relief for airports (as in Scotland and Northern Ireland); and an extension of the period of repayment of loans to aviation companies beyond the current two year maximum.
The full list of measures can be found on Unite’s urgent summer update to its ‘Flying into the Future’ blueprint, which was first published in May in response to the coronavirus crisis.
By Barckley Sumner