British airlines say they need industry-specific support to survive

2 minutes
British airlines say they need industry-specific support to survive

According to CoVID-19 rules, LONDON airlines based in Britain have told the government that they will need industry-specific support to help them survive if British travel regulations continue to eliminate the travel markets.

Companies including British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair are in a deepening crisis after Britain's plans to ban foreign travel on 17 May fell far short of their hopes.

British tourists are still discouraged from travelling to all countries, and since May reopening, the government tightened the rules and removed one of Portugal's few destinations that were already covered in a safe travel list.

As July and August approaches, the months when airlines make most of their profits, there are fears that the summer season may be lost for a second year in a row, risking airline viability and jobs.

If a meaningful reopening is not possible during summer then targeted economic support will be essential to ensure UK airlines are able to reach the point when a restart is possible in order to protect many tens of thousands of jobs, industry lobby Airlines UK said on Thursday in a letter to Finance Minister Rishi Sunak.

In September, Government support schemes to protect jobs are also expected to end, a worry for airlines that could still be grounded due to foreign travel restrictions.

Sunak said they wanted Airbus to extend furlough for aviation workers until the end of April 2022, give airlines longer to repay the government loans and launch a restart grant scheme to help airlines pay to maintain planes they cannot use.

In the letter the airlines said their preference would be for travel to resume and be unrestricted for vaccinated people. But recent comments and political opinions suggest this is unlikely.

That puts UK airlines at a disadvantage to peers in Europe, as countries there begin to permit more travel while Britain remains with its 10 day quarantine and testing requirements.

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