Airports need help, union tells UK government

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A financial package is urgently needed to support the aviation industry, according to Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey has requested a meeting with UK prime minister Boris Johnson to discuss the industry’s call for an emergency summit and to determine what support it needs to cope with the ongoing

Unite, alongside sister aviation unions across Europe, has devised a four-point plan, which it says the government should adopt to ensure the industry survives.

In his letter to Johnson, McCluskey wrote, “We must raise serious concerns at the highest levels of government regarding this imminent crisis. If you do not take urgent action to support the aviation industry in the UK, there is absolute certainty that tens of thousands of jobs will be put at risk, and the industry will be unable to resume effectively once this health crisis has passed.

“Without the government’s help, the aviation industry could plunge into an unprecedented crisis, with thousands of jobs under threat. Furthermore, if left unchecked, the long-term damage to the industry and infrastructure could have enormous effects on the economy.

The four-point plan that Unite wants ministers to implement is: government contributions to cover workers’ pay; the extension of loans, to airports, airlines and other aviation companies; a delay in the payment of taxes and duties that airlines are obliged to pay including a temporary suspension or reduction in Air Passenger Duty (APD); and government subsidies to support routes.

McCluskey added, “Unite is working with airlines, airports and the supply chain, to preserve jobs and companies for the future and it is essential that the government plays its part. Other European countries, including France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, are already working on measures to support their aviation industries. It is only right that the UK does not get left behind.”

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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