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Prospect issues serious warning over future of UK aviation

29 December 2020

New analysis by Prospect, a leading union in the aviation sector shows that output by air transport services is still down 85% on a year ago. This compares an 8% drop in the economy as a whole.

These figures predate the international travel ban imposed on areas in tier four as well as the restrictions placed on UK travellers by many countries in recent days. Both have seen more flights cancelled and further worsened the dire situation in the sector.

The impact is now also clearly being felt in the UK’s leading aerospace and aircraft maintenance sectors. Prior to the pandemic IATA research showed that aviation supported 1.56 million jobs and contributing £89bn annually to UK GDP. 

Mike Clancy, Prospect General Secretary said:

“For months trade unions, including Prospect, have been calling for a specific support package for the aviation sector, but despite warm words the government has failed to deliver.

“Winter is traditionally the most difficult time for the aviation industry with demand at its lowest in the early part of the year.

“This year travel restrictions  add further uncertainty, on top of what has been a terrible 2020.

“The government must act now to support the whole sector, airports, air traffic control and the supply chain as well as airlines.

“If they don’t lifeline services could be at risk, and in the longer term so many people will have left the industry it will hinder any recovery. There will not be a wide economic recovery and no levelling up without a recovery for our aviation sector.”

Sectoral output compared to UK monthly GDP last 12 months, latest figures. Oct 2019=100

Sectoral output compared to UK monthly GDP Oct 2020 compared to Oct 2019.