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Published on : Thursday, May 26, 2022
The aviation sector in United Kingdom battered badly by the COVID-19 pandemic and it needs an immediate boost from a United Kingdom government recovery plan.
UK’s international hub Heathrow Airport applauded a 10-point plan released on called Flight to the Future, which will focus on industry growth, sustainability and protecting passengers.
A Heathrow spokeswoman said it was “vital” that the UK’s aviation sector be rebuilt “on a sustainable trajectory” but added that speed was paramount.
She said that the necessary changes that will decarbonise and future proof the benefits of flying can only be achieved when we all work together. They look forward to this opportunity through the new aviation council.
Now we need government to bring pace to the policies that will allow the sector to fulfill the ambitions they are setting out today. Failure to do this will only see this plan grounded.
The flight to the Future commits to “position the UK as a global aviation leader” and put the sector “on course to achieve jet zero”, a reference to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The passenger numbers at UK airports last year were 78 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, as the country lagged behind other European countries due to tougher coronavirus restrictions. A recent report by the Airports Operators Association showed that UK airports have lost £10 billion in revenue since the first lockdown in March 2020 and have taken on more than £4bn in debt.
The demand for UK flights has risen this year, coinciding with the scrapping of all travel rules.
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of trade body Airlines UK, said that there can be no ‘Global Britain’ without the air connectivity that United Kingdom airlines deliver. They look forward to a laserlike focus from government on the levers it can pull to make the UK a truly competitive, global aviation hub.
The poor treatment of passengers by some airlines has become routine — as we saw with carriers ignoring their legal obligations on refunds, rerouting and passenger rights during the pandemic and recent chaos at our airports, said Rocio Concha.
There is much work to be done to restore consumer trust and the government must deliver reforms that work for passengers. The new aviation council would be better placed to improve the travel experience with passenger and consumer groups as members.