A cross-party group of UK parliamentarians has called on new prime minister Liz Truss’s administration to back UK aviation, travel and tourism as it continues to recover from the impacts of Covid-19.
A letter, organised by Henry Smith MP as chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Future of Aviation, which has been signed by 55 MPs and Lords, calls on the government to: give specific responsibility for overseeing the cross-government approach to international travel policy to an individual Minister; introduce minimum staffing levels for Border Force at UK airports; confirm commitment to the jet zero strategy and put in place levels of price stability to attract investment and new entrants to the market; work with partners to create an international travel toolkit to be prepared for future crises; and work with industry to put in place a long-term skills strategy to support jobs in aviation, travel, tourism and sustainable aviation
The letter reads: “During Covid-19 these industries were amongst the most affected with passenger numbers falling to historically low levels, with aviation grounded and then hit by continuing and changing restrictions.
“As these businesses were among the first hit and last to have restrictions lifted, the consequences of the pandemic continue to be felt and hold back both aviation’s recovery and our economic recovery.
“The summer travel season has shown positive signs of recovery, with strong passenger numbers, families enjoying much needed breaks, and avoiding the challenges previously seen during the Easter holiday period.
“However, it is vital that the government build on this progress and ensure we have a fully recovered and vibrant aviation and travel industry without which the ambitions of Global Britain, namely championing our values, reinvesting our global relationships, and maximising trade opportunities on the world stage, will all remain effectively grounded.”