A new survey from industry body Airlines UK has found that without a waiver from paying Air Passenger Duty (APD), 600 air routes will be lost in the short-term, as well as 8,000 jobs.
130 routes would be lost in 12 months if airlines had to continue paying APD, 80 per cent of which would be in the UK.
Two weeks ago a group of 24 Tory MPs wrote to chancellor Rishi Sunak to ask for the exemption from the passenger tax.
Despite the lifting of mandatory quarantine measures for about 60 countries, passenger numbers are still about 70 per cent down year-on-year.
Chief executive Tim Alderslade said “UK airports are in danger of losing many valuable routes over the coming months unless the Government steps in with a support package for our sector – starting with an emergency APD waiver to get us through the winter and into the recovery”
“The UK came into this crisis as the third best connected country in the world – it would be a tragedy if through government inaction and neglect we needlessly forfeited this position to our closest rivals”.
Tory backbencher Sir Graham Brady said, “Almost alone within Europe we have been slow to appreciate the importance of aviation – not only as an industry that supports a million jobs – but as an enabler of the outward facing trading nation we wish to be”
A HM Treasury spokesperson said:“The aviation sector is important to the UK economy, and will be able to draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the chancellor, including paying people’s wages through the furlough scheme, the Covid Corporate Financing Facility, Time to Pay flexibilities with tax bills including APD, and VAT deferrals.
“We are continuing to work closely with the sector.”