25 APRIL 2022
© 2022 Business Travel News Ltd.
The House of Commons Transport Select Committee is adamant that aviation should be part of any government planning in dealing with pandemics in the future.
In a report published today (25 April) it says that the Government’s restrictions on air travel throughout the pandemic were disproportionate to the risks to public health, causing a severe financial shock to the sector. The decision-making process was not transparent or consistent, nor based on scientific consensus.
Huw Merriman MP, Chair of the Committee, said: “In the face of a global pandemic, today’s report acknowledges the difficult position faced by Government. However, Government action was inconsistent. It left industry and passengers confused and unable to plan ahead. This resulted in a severe economic deficit for the aviation sector. Thousands of people lost their jobs. Many more could not visit their loved ones. England’s coronavirus restrictions on international travel were imposed with no overall assessment of their impact – a point underlined by the recent report from the National Audit Office.
His words gained the support of the Airport Operators Association (AOA), Chief Executive, Karen Dee: “We join the Committee in calling for a comprehensive recovery package that allows our sector to recover sustainably and prevents the UK from falling behind our international competitors. As we set out in our own report, ‘Reconnecting the UK: recovering aviation connectivity’, this must include financial measures to help bring routes back across the UK, or we risk losing out to European airports who are financially better placed to attract airlines thanks to generous sector-specific government support during the pandemic.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum