Coronavirus: Government urged to stop delaying support to airlines

Ministers are being urged to stop delaying details of any support it plans to offer the aviation sector through the coronavirus crisis.

Pilots warn that airlines need the information urgently as they are taking drastic action as the effect of global travel restrictions are felt. 

The call from the British Airline Pilots Association came as easyJet announced the grounding its entire fleet, and all other airlines are scaling back to virtually zero flying.

EasyJet, Virgin Atlantic and Loganair have been reported as calling for urgent government help while Flybe, the first casualty of coronavirus, should not be overlooked, according to the union.

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: “We saw the impact that coronavirus had on Flybe and predicted then that other airlines would suffer severely if no help was offered.

“The government promised that it would implement bespoke packages of support for the aviation industry, but where are they?

“The sector was thriving before this crisis and will be vital to the country’s economic recovery when the virus abates.

“But without support now, the airlines could be gone, and the industry will not be there when we need it.

“Airlines have done what they can to mitigate the effect of having almost no revenue for the summer, their key earning period, as they were asked to do.

“Now the government needs to fulfil its promise to help, before it is too late.”

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