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British aviation "hardest hit" by travel restrictions

British Airways Airbus A350
British Airways Airbus A350, © British Airways

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LONDON - UK aviation industry is the "hardest hit" in Europe by restrictions on international travel, an analysis of official European air traffic data for June 2021 by The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has revealed. The pilots call for a quick opening of international air travel to spur recovery.

The analysis of data from European air traffic agency Eurocontrol has been published by BALPA, the trade union for British pilots, ahead of a national Travel Day of Action on Wednesday (23 June).

The number of flights into and out of the UK has collapsed by three-quarters (73%) in the latest official data, compared to 2019. The data shows that Gatwick and Manchester airports are the worse 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.

"The Government claims to have given £7bn in support to UK aviation but most of this is either standard furlough payments or loans which the industry will struggle to pay back with virtually no income," Balpa said. "By contrast, European and US Governments have given direct financial support to their airlines which the UK Government promised but has failed to deliver."

The pilots call for the Government to allow international travel again by expanding the Green List and increase financial support for the restart of UK aviation.

"It’s official. The UK aviation industry is the hardest hit in Europe, caused by the UK Governments ludicrously cautious restrictions on international travel," BALPA GM Brian Strutton said "BALPA is demanding that the UK Government gets its act together and opens the US routes and European holiday travel destinations that it has blocked with no published evidence at all."
© | Image: British Airways | 21/06/2021 08:36

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