To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to provide support to the airline industry; and whether he plans to ensure that support is contingent on airlines (a) not paying dividends to their shareholders, (b) rehiring staff and (c) taking additional steps to tackle climate change.
1 May 2020
The Government recognises the challenging times facing the aviation sector as a result of COVID-19 and the Chancellor wrote to the aviation sector on 24 March to set out the Government’s position and the support measures available. Given the significant importance of the aviation sector to our economy and economic recovery, the Government is prepared to enter negotiations with individual companies seeking bespoke support as a last resort, having exhausted other options. However further taxpayer support would only be possible if all commercial avenues have been fully explored, including raising further capital from existing investors and discussing arrangements with financial stakeholders.
The Government has announced a package of measures, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which help firms to retain employees. This Scheme will allow businesses to put employees on temporary leave, with the Government paying cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500 per month, providing the business keeps the person employed.
The Department for Transport are planning to consult to update the Government’s position on aviation and climate change. It is critical that we consider how the aviation sector can play its part in delivering our net zero ambitions.