COVID-19: British Airlines Call for Support Measures

British Airlines have called on the Chancellor Rishi Sunak for support

UK airlines including Ryanair, EasyJet and British Airways are seeking a suspension of air traffic control charges for 2020 and a number of other financial measures to help them survive during the coronavirus pandemic.

Airline traffic across Europe has now reportedly slumped by 80% with EasyJet and Ryanair among those that have grounded all or most of their aircraft.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told airlines that the government will only provide financial support as a “last resort”.

He has said airlines in need of capital should try to raise it from their shareholders or other sources first.

However industry lobby group Airlines UK is urged the British government to put in place measures to help solidify the airlines futures.

“We believe a number of such measures are necessary to enable aviation both to deal with the ongoing crisis in the short term but also to support and accelerate a strong UK recovery later in the year,” it said in the letter.

The organisation said airlines also needed clarity on how to access a new government scheme that sees temporarily laid-off workers receive 80% of their wages from the public purse.

“Please can we urge that further clarity is provided as soon as possible, owing to the severe cash pressures that airlines are facing,” the industry body told the UK Transport Minister.