The Airport Operators Association (AOA), which represents airports in the UK, has warned more job losses and closure of operations at some airports after the country entered a new lockdown last week.
The four-week lockdown was announced following a sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in the UK. The lockdown banned international leisure travel, a decision which may further worsen the state of the already struggling aviation sector.
In a letter to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, AOA noted that the sector requires immediate assistance, citing the current situation as ‘unsustainable’.
AOA was quoted by Reuters as saying in the letter: “Britain’s global connectivity is on the line if government is not willing to support the industry.”
The association sought business rates relief for airports, temporary suspension of air passenger duty and other financial assistance, the news agency reported.
In addition, it urged the government to implement an airport testing regime as an alternative to quarantine rules by the end of the current lockdown.
Separately, several airports in the UK have started scaling down operations, anticipating a further drop in passenger numbers throughout this second lockdown.
Manchester Airport will move all its operations to Terminal One. The decision will involve shutting down Terminal Three from 11 November. Terminal Two, closed since 2 September, will continue to remain shut.
Most retail outlets at the airport will also temporarily cease operations.
Last month, it was reported that Manchester Airports Group (MAG) will cut more than 800 jobs across all its airports.