Aviation industry associations across Europe issued a joint call for action to the EU and member states today demanding “quick and targeted support”.

Organisations including Airlines for Europe (A4E), Airports Council International (ACI EUROPE) and the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA) warned of “an unprecedented liquidity crisis” and said: “The catastrophic effect COVID-19 is having on aviation is clearly only at the beginning.”

In a statement, they said: “The industry has come to a complete halt and is struggling to survive. The EU must act now.”

The coalition of airlines, airports and travel businesses called for “better coordinated and proactive actions to support the aviation industry” and said: “European Institutions must take all necessary measures to ensure the short-term financial viability of travel industry enterprises.”

They demanded EU member states “provide financial support as quickly as possible to the whole travel ecosystem”, warning: “There is a cash liquidity issue at every level.”

The objective should be to “maintain a functioning travel industry [and] protect employees and consumers alike”.

The coalition also demanded a consultation procedure be established to exchange information, address urgent issues and plan for the future.

It insisted: “Entire markets are non-functioning and urgent aid is needed.

“The aviation sector is a strategically important sector. It must be positioned as a critical enabler of Europe’s economic recovery once the crisis has passed.

“This depends on governments providing firm supportive measures today.”

Organisations in the coalition include the Airline Catering Association (ACA), the Airport Services Association (ASA), the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), the EU Travel Tech association (EUTT) and European Travel Retail Confederation (ETRC).