The Herald on Sunday
Pilots issue mayday for UK aviation
PILOTS are calling for urgent action to help aviation because of the “devastating” impact of the pandemic on UK airlines and airports
The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) said the UK aviation industry has been the hardest hit in Europe by restrictions on international travel.
Its analysis of official European air traffic data for June showed that the number of flights into and out of the UK has fallen by three-quarters compared to 2019.
The union said its study showed that Gatwick and Manchester airports were the worst affected in Europe, with Heathrow and Stansted close behind.
According to world trade body the International Air Transport Association, 860,000 jobs in UK aviation travel and tourism have been lost or are on furlough and are at risk of being lost, said Balpa.
A Government spokesman said: “We recognise the challenging times facing all sectors of transport as a result of Covid-19, which is why we have put in place an economy-wide support package, including around £7 billion of support expected to benefit the air transport sector by September 2021.
“We continue to work with the aviation sector to help them navigate this period, and encourage them to draw on the unprecedented package of support measures available.”
Balpa members will join colleagues from across the aviation and travel industry to take their message to MPs in Westminster, and MSPs in Holyrood, as part of a nationwide Travel Day of Action on Wednesday.