Manchester Airport parent company, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), has become the latest airport operator to voice concern over the governments inaction on aviation.
As we head to the Bank Holiday weekend, Manchester Airport is expecting to see just 25,000 passengers pass through its terminals, a fraction of the 115,000 on the same weekend in 2019.
This is largely as a result of passenger uncertainty over Coronavirus restrictions which is hurting airports across the UK. Those wishing to travel simply don’t know if the country they visit could suddenly be removed from the safe list with just 24 hours notice meaning they will have to quarantine on return to the UK.
The aviation industry has been decimated by the pandemic and has already seen thousands of job losses but in a statement, MAG CEO Charlie Cornish said: “there has been no evidence of any recognition from the government of the need to protect the travel industry and enable it to recover from what is undoubtedly the biggest crisis it has ever faced
In the UK the aviation industry supports around 2m jobs but according to MAG, the government is showing no signs that it wants to avoid further job losses in the industry. Something that Mr Cornish says is “in stark contrast to the approach we have seen taken by numerous governments around the world”.
Aside from airports and airlines, manufacturers including Airbus and Rolls-Royce have also made mass redundancies.
Mr Cornish also repeated his call for a regional approach to air travel rather than a blanket restriction by country saying “Catalonia is closer to Cheshire than it is to Gran Canaria, making this blanket approach not only unnecessary and illogical, but hugely damaging to an already-ailing sector.” adding “It seems there is an acceptance within the Department for Transport and by the Transport Secretary himself that a regionalised approach is needed, but we find ourselves months down the line and no progress has been made. With another key meeting cancelled this week, Cabinet cracks cannot seemingly be papered over, even when it comes to protecting an industry as critical as ours. “
The statement comes less than a week after the interim boss of Cardiff Airport warned that more airlines could collapse and airports could close if the government doesn’t take immediate action to help the industry.
Manchester Airports Group (Manchester Airport Holdings Limited/MAG) is based at Manchester Airport (MAN/EGCC) which it owns and operates. It also owns East Midlands Airport (EMA/EGNX) and London Stansted (STN/EGSS).