Coronavirus update: Support package for airlines and airports announced by UK government

Background

The aviation industry is one of the worst hit by the Coronavirus Pandemic. Recent travel restrictions and recommendations from governments around the world have caused a further dent. US travel restrictions applied to all transatlantic routes from yesterday (17 March) and in the UK, the Foreign Office advised the public against all non-essential travel globally for the next 30 days.

The global airline industry, including trade bodies and airlines themselves, are calling on emergency support from governments. The International Air Transport Association said on Tuesday (17 March) that the majority of carriers face running out of money within two months because of the sudden halt in international flights by governments attempting to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Announcement on 17 March 2020

On 17 March the UK government announced a package of financial measures to support the economy against the impact of the coronavirus. It included £330bn in loans, £20bn in other aid, a business rates holiday, and grants for retailers and pubs.

In addition to this, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that help for airlines and airports is also being considered. Mr Sunak said: "Some sectors are facing particularly acute challenges. In the coming days, my colleague the Secretary of State for Transport and I will discuss a potential support package specifically for airlines and airports."

It seems that the details of such a package are yet to be finalised, but the statement in itself is welcome in the aviation sector. John Lundgren, chief executive of easyJet, said: "Airlines are facing significant pressure and without government action there is a real risk to the industry. It will be important to work through the detail, but we are already talking to government."  If you require any further information please contact Ian Holyoak.

We will be updating this page as soon as the UK government provides more detail on the support package for airlines and airports.