To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of unemployment rates in (1) aviation communities, and (2) communities dependant on industries associated with aviation, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic; and what specific support they have made available to such communities.
4 June 2021
The Department for Transport is committed to addressing the ongoing impact COVID-19 has had on the aviation sector. Aviation supported around half a million jobs across all regions of the UK before COVID-19, and since the start of the pandemic there have been tens of thousands of job cuts, mainly concentrated in the South East.
Businesses across the industry have drawn on economy wide measures including the Covid Job Retention Scheme and Covid Corporate Finance Facility, and sector specific support such as the Airport and Ground Operators Support Scheme. We estimate that by the end of September 2021 the air transport sector will have benefited from around £7bn of Government support since the start of the pandemic, with an estimated 50% of air transport sector employees currently furloughed.
Over £25bn has also been provided to the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors in the form of grants, loans and tax breaks. The Government has extended business rates relief, introduced new Restart grants of up to £18,000, and has extended the cut in VAT for tourism and hospitality activities to 5% until the end of September.