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Aviation Sector: Financial Support

Volume 693: debated on Tuesday 27 April 2021

What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on providing sector-specific financial support to the aviation sector. (914823)

We speak to our colleagues on a regular basis about a range of matters. The Department for Transport is in regular contact with the Treasury regarding the challenging circumstances facing the aviation sector as a result of covid-19.

Furlough ends in September, which is of no help to the aviation sector and airport communities, which will take months to recover even partially as we wait for the world to unlock. Many aviation businesses are on the edge financially, and they employ staff in safety-critical roles where there is a risk of skill fade if they cannot be supported. They are seeking longer-term support, as are communities such as ours in Hounslow, where tens of thousands of people depend on the airport for their livelihoods. Will the Treasury address the specific challenge of the aviation sector and airport communities well before the furlough scheme ends in September?

The Government recognise the challenging circumstances facing the aviation industry, which the hon. Member described. The industry can draw on the package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including not just the furlough scheme but schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills and employment support. The aerospace sector and aviation customers are being supported with over £11 billion made available through loan guarantees, support for exporters, the Bank of England’s covid corporate financing facility and grants for research and development. In addition, the renewed airport and ground operations support scheme, which the Chancellor announced in his Budget, will provide support for eligible businesses in England with their fixed costs for a further six months up to the equivalent of their business rate liabilities for the first half of 2021-22.