BALPA calls on Boris Johnson to save UK Aviation

British Airways 747 Captain (Image: BA)
British Airways 747 Captain (Image: BA)

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has written an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling on him to support UK aviation by providing a “clear way out of this crisis”.

The airline and travel industry has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic with air traffic dropping by around 90% across the UK.

BALPA says that the industry cannot survive any longer without a plan which it says must must include the publication of an Aviation, Travel and Tourism Recovery Plan, which was due to be published towards the end of 2020.

The letter asks Mr Johnson to introduce a comprehensive support package for the aviation, travel and tourism sectors in order to protect against further job losses and further damage to the national economy.

The union has called on all British Pilots past, present and future to sign the letter which ends:

“As pilots, we know that our aviation industry is more than simply our airlines and airports, it is our gateway to a Global Britain and is a key component of our national economy. As such, a failure to support our industry now will have devastating consequences for our long-term recovery from the pandemic.

We urge you to back our aviation family and introduce an aviation, travel, and tourism rescue package without delay. Continuing inaction is unconscionable and will put the brakes on any national recovery before it has even begun.”

The letter can be signed here http://bit.ly/3bcO74p

Airbus A350 flight deck
Airbus A350 flight deck

The Letter in Full

Dear Prime Minister

As British pilots, we are writing to you to urge you to introduce a comprehensive support package for the aviation, travel and tourism sectors that is essential to protect against further job losses and damage to our national economy.

Despite the welcome progress being made on the Government’s Covid vaccination programme, our aviation industry remains in a moment of crisis and the need for action is both urgent and essential.

The impacts of the pandemic and measures taken to protect public health have effectively shut down UK aviation for a year. Thousands of pilots in airlines across the country have either lost their careers or are subject to the uncertainty of the furlough scheme – it is now clear this scheme must be extended to prevent more job losses. These people whose jobs are at risk are the same people who, in the face of this terrible virus, repatriated British citizens and ensured important cargo made it to the UK to protect the NHS and save lives. Now our careers and livelihoods have been permanently damaged.

Whilst we do not dispute the need for public health measures, it is beyond doubt that our sector has reached breaking point. Our world class aviation, travel and tourism sectors cannot survive any longer without a clear way out of this crisis. This must include the publication of an Aviation, Travel and Tourism Recovery Plan, which although promised by Ministers last year is yet to materialise.

This is a call made and supported by diverse businesses and business groups, the whole of aviation family and by over 80 parliamentarians. The need for deliberation on this has long passed, the need for action is now. This plan must include bespoke financial support for all parts of the aviation family and a clear and considered pathway out of the current restrictions.

Since March last year, the coronavirus has decimated our world class aviation, travel and tourism industries, with passenger numbers at negligible levels, routes suspended and thousands of employees within the sector losing their livelihoods.

As pilots, we know that our aviation industry is more than simply our airlines and airports, it is our gateway to a Global Britain and is a key component of our national economy. As such, a failure to support our industry now will have devastating consequences for our long-term recovery from the pandemic.

We urge you to back our aviation family and introduce an aviation, travel, and tourism rescue package without delay. Continuing inaction is unconscionable and will put the brakes on any national recovery before it has even begun.

We urge the Government to save UK aviation.

Yours sincerely

About Nick Harding 1453 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.