UK airports look
set to lose £2.6 billion this summer because of the Government’s
“overly cautious approach to reopening international travel”.
Operators Association (AOA) says that the UK’s current green list represents
only 1.7 per cent of 2019 passenger numbers and that there were significantly
more countries on the travel corridor list in 2020 compared to what is expected for
summer 2021 under the current traffic-light system.
Between April and September 2020, UK airports lost £2.6 billion in revenue; with passenger
numbers expected to be at best similar but most likely worse this year, airports stand to
lose at least the same amount again.
AOA’s chief executive
Karen Dee said: “The Government’s overly cautious approach to reopening
travel has real-world consequences for the 1.6 million jobs in the UK aviation
and tourism industries that rely on aviation having a meaningful restart.
Government makes a meaningful restart of aviation possible by extending the
green list at the next review, moving to rapid and affordable tests for
returning travellers and following the examples of the EU and the US by
reducing restrictions on fully vaccinated passengers, aviation is in for an
extremely difficult summer.
suffered blow after blow since the start of the pandemic. If the Government
decides it cannot reopen travel more meaningfully, then they should stand ready
to give substantial financial compensation to airports and others in aviation
and tourism. As airports remain open for critical services, support should
include operational costs, such as policing, air traffic and CAA regulatory
costs, and extending business rate relief in full until the end of the tax
“With the rest of
the economy having a real opportunity to return to some normality, jobs in
businesses across the economy that need air connectivity for their success are
at risk. The Government cannot afford to let those go.”