Clive Jacobs backs Manchester airport’s Covid legal challenge

Clive Jacobs, chairman of Jacobs Media Group, which owns Travel Weekly, has thrown his weight behind a legal challenge to the government’s Covid-19 travel policies spearheaded by Manchester Airports Group (MAG).

His intervention is on behalf of himself and of all SMEs in the travel industry.

Having begun his own case, Jacobs has now petitioned to become an ‘intervening party’ in the challenge by MAG which is being backed by airline partners including Ryanair, Virgin Atlantic, easyJet and Tui.

A statement was posted on Jacobs’ crowdfunding site which he set up last month to support a legal challenge to the government over its block on the sector’s recovery and failure to provide aid.

It said: “Today, Clive Jacobs of Jacobs Media Group, on his own behalf and on behalf of all SMEs in the travel industry, has lodged an application to the High Court to be an Intervening Party in the legal proceedings being brought by Manchester Air Group and a number of major airlines.  A decision on that application is expected soon.

“Clive is applying to the High Court to put evidence before the Court focused particularly on the serious impact that the ongoing restrictions are having on SME travel industry businesses, so that the Court is aware of that when it considers the challenge to the operation of the government’s traffic light system.”

As he launched the original crowdfunding campaign last month, Jacobs said: “Hundreds of thousands of people are uncertain about their futures because of the actions of this government around international travel. People are becoming despondent and fearful. There are people who are absolutely desperate.

“This is about giving people who work in the industry some hope, some encouragement. I hope it contributes to putting pressure on the government, to holding it to account over the way it makes decisions that are destroying people’s lives.”

The Manchester Airports Group and its airline allies are demanding more transparency about how the government decides which countries qualify for the green list of destinations at each of the three-week reviews.

Jacobs was unable to comment further.

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.