Sector specific support must now be urgently delivered to ensure aerospace manufacturers and our supply chains can survive until these measures are lifted and demand returns. The Government must work with international counterparts to put in place the resilient system needed to achieve this goal, including testing of passengers before and after travel, and travel corridors with our overseas partners that can be sustained.
Final annual figures for 2020 show commercial aircraft orders and deliveries fall to their lowest levels for more than a decade.
Following the imposition by UK authorities of travel bans with limited exceptions and the suspension of all air corridors, ADS, Airlines UK, and the Airport Operators Association (AOA), have written to the Prime Minister and Chancellor to urge the Government to put an Aviation and Aerospace recovery plan in place. The three organisations who together represent UK airlines, airports and aircraft manufacturers, have called for measures including financial support for companies affected, swift delivery of a more resilient testing system to support a resumption in international travel, and relief from levies, duties and charges.
“The severe restrictions on travel now in place pose a serious threat to businesses in the UK’s aviation and aerospace sectors, which are already among the worst affected by the crisis. “Without a specific package of measures for the sector, thousands more jobs and the long-term health of our industry will be put at risk.”
November 2020 saw 27 orders placed globally for commercial aircraft and 71 delivered.
The UK aerospace, defence, space and security industries welcome the agreement of a deal on the UK’s future relationship with the EU. A deal provides the best framework for our relationship with European allies and industrial partners. We recognise the deal does not meet all our ambitions and will examine the full legal text to ensure priority areas including aviation safety and chemicals regulation, customs and border control, and Northern Ireland are appropriately addressed.
New restrictions on travel are having a serious impact on aviation. This is a major setback in what is already a long road to recovery for the UK aerospace industry. There is not yet a resilient regime in place that ensures international travel continues through the ongoing pandemic. Government must urgently convene its Global Travel Taskforce to establish protocols that give confidence to passengers and to our international partners.
Our industries will welcome extensions to the Job Retention Scheme and the deadline for applications to emergency loan schemes. Our economy faces a long road to recovery and sectors like aerospace are among the worst affected. Supply chain companies are being threatened by existential challenges and will need additional support to ensure they can survive until the pace of recovery quickens as restrictions are eased in the UK and internationally.”
The contingency plans set out by the EU today are bare bones arrangements to ensure continuity of air services from January 1st in the event of no Brexit deal being agreed. However, they would leave major issues still to resolve around cross-border trade and aviation safety regulation arrangements for UK manufacturers, who face new costs, delays and uncertainty if there is no deal.
We are disappointed the UK has chosen to take unilateral action without securing some reciprocal action to resolve this dispute. A negotiated settlement is the best way to achieve a lasting resolution and Governments in the UK, Europe and the US must work together to reach this goal.