Ministers have been accused of overseeing the demise of UK aviation as the sector braces for thousands of job losses and further travel restrictions.
Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, which runs Southampton, Aberdeen and Glasgow, said the sector was suffering more job losses than the demise of the coal industry in the 1980s.
“That’s surely not an accolade any government would like to have,” he told the BBC.
It comes as Heathrow prepares to cut up to a quarter of its frontline staff — 1,200 roles — after talks with unions stalled, Sky News reported.
Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic yesterday secured court approval for its £1.2bn bailout deal, taking it a step closer to ensuring its survival.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye has taken aim at the government over its failure to approve a rapid testing process at the airport.
The airport has trialled a testing process that it says would allow passengers to avoid going into quarantine for the full 14-day period, but ministers are yet to back the move.
Holland-Kaye has also criticised confusion around the UK’s quarantine rules, stating that travellers to and from Britain were facing “quarantine roulette”.
Last week the government added Switzerland, Jamaica and the Czech Republic to its quarantine list alongside other countries such as France and Spain.
Ministers are now under pressure to add Portugal and Greece to the list, with a decision expected tomorrow.