The Future of Aviation Group was set up to campaign for support for the aviation, travel, and tourism industries, some of the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. As domestic restrictions are being lifted, international travel remains heavily restricted and recovery for the aviation, travel and tourism sectors appears to still be some way off.
Over the past few months, The Future of Aviation Group has continued its parliamentary engagement to lobby the Government for the safe reopening of international travel and sufficient financial support if restrictions continue. This includes two parliamentary debates in June dedicated to support for the aviation, travel and tourism industries and a virtual meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Future of Aviation on 6th July focusing on the reopening of the aviation sector.
On 10th June, MPs including All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Future of Aviation Chair Henry Smith MP, former Prime Minister Theresa May MP, former Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling MP and Transport Select Committee Chair Huw Merriman MP joined a debate on Support for the Aviation, Travel and Tourism Industries. Throughout the debate, which took place in the House of Commons, MPs from across the House called for a risk-based approach to reopening international travel and highlighted the limitations of the Government’s approach to the traffic light system, mandatory testing, and quarantine guidelines. MPs also called on the Government to introduce the targeted support the aviation, travel, and tourism sectors need as their ability to operate continues to be restricted.
On 24th June, Chair of the APPG for the Future of Aviation Henry Smith MP led a Westminster Hall debate on Support for the Aviation, Tourism and Travel Industries in Response to COVID-19. Once again, MPs from across the house came together to call on the Government to drop their overcautious, risk-adverse approach to reopening travel and take a more pragmatic, risk-based approach that balances public health concerns with the needs of industry and the need to reopen travel for the benefit of the economy and the individuals who rely on international travel not just for income but for family and personal connections.
On 6th July, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Future of Aviation held a virtual meeting providing Parliamentarians with an update on the reopening of the aviation industry and an outline of what the sector needs next. A good number of MPs and Peers from all Parties joined the meeting to hear presentations from Manchester Airports Group, easyJet and Virgin Atlantic. Parliamentarians heard how damaging the pandemic and related restrictions have been to the aviation industry, how the UK is comparing to counterparts in Europe and the US and how the Government can help the sector to recover. Topics of discussion focused largely on the need to increase the green list, reduce the costs of PCR testing and the burden of quarantine for amber list countries.
Request for BAG Member Case Studies for Future of Aviation Group to highlight the impact of COVID-19 on UK aviation industry and supply chain
Through BAG’s membership of the Future of Aviation Group, we are looking for dedicated BAG Member case studies / stories that highlight the impact of COVID-19 on the UK aviation industry and supply chain (particularly the significant fiscal impact of the COVID-19 crisis, impact of not being able to travel internationally for business and therefore losing out to other international competitors, etc.). By providing us with these significant examples, the Future of Aviation Group is aiming to broaden understanding amongst MPs of the key issues facing BAG members, potential risk to jobs and businesses and how MPs can help to put pressure on the Government in order to deliver support for the industry. Please connect with / send your case studies to Bettina Rigg at BAG Secretariat so we can share them with the Future of Aviation Group accordingly.