UK accused of ‘overseeing the demise of aviation’



A senior industry figure has said UK government ministers are “overseeing the demise of UK aviation” as job losses are proposed at Heathrow airport and travellers brace for more restrictions.

Derek Provan, chief executive of ASG Airports which runs Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton, said the sector was experiencing more job cuts amid the pandemic than seen in the coal industry in Britain in the 1980s.

“That’s surely not an accolade any government would like to have,” he told the BBC.

It comes as Virgin Atlantic took a step closer to implementing its rescue package, with a High Court judge signing off on the company’s £1.2 billion bailout (€1.4 billion) on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Heathrow has begun consulting with unions over pay cuts in a process which could lead to job losses.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye previously called on the Government to stop imposing “quarantine roulette” on travellers, as he announced the airport had a pre-tax loss of £1.1 billion in the first six months of the year in July.

The airport has since unveiled a new Covid-19 testing programme it says could enable passengers arriving from certain countries to exit the mandatory 14-day quarantine period early. The facility has yet to be approved by the UK government.

Pressure is mounting on England to consider imposing quarantine rules on travellers arriving from Greece amid reports of people returning with coronavirus.

Rising Covid cases prompted the Scottish Government to announce travellers from Greece would have to self-isolate for 14 days from Thursday, while Wales began asking arrivals from the island of Zante to enter quarantine.

The UK’s biggest tour operator Tui has suspended its holidays to the resort of Laganas on Zante.

But Greece has insisted it is doing “everything in our power” to keep UK holidaymakers safe.


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