The Airport Operators Association (AOA) claims the UK government is falling behind other major economies in supporting its aviation industry.

The body, which represents more than 50 UK airports, is reiterating its urgent call for government support for the sector.

It highlighted how other governments across the world are helping their aviation industries.

In the US, airlines have access to $58 billion, split evenly between loans and payroll grants, while in Australia, there is an AU$715 million (about £352 million) relief package.

The Norwegian government is compensating airports for the loss of airport charges and has suspended the air passenger tax (equivalent to UK Air Passenger Duty) until October 13.

In Spain, there is a credit line of up to €400 million for the travel sector, granted by the state-owned Credit Corporation, while the French government has set out €700 million of tax aid to airline sector.

In Denmark and Sweden, there are joint state-backed credit guarantees worth about £243 million to enable airline SAS to borrow money on the commercial market.

The Finnish government has agreed to provide a state guarantee of €600 million to assist its national carrier.

More: Coronavirus: Almost 40 MPs back airlines’ call for government support

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Karen Dee, AOA chief executive, said: “As an island nation, we are reliant on aviation to facilitate our trade and to enable businesses and consumers to travel domestically and internationally.

“More than a million people are employed directly or indirectly in aviation, and many more jobs rely on our sector.

“Yet the UK government is lagging behind its international competitors when it comes to safeguarding our vital industry for the future.

“Aviation was at the forefront of the impact of Covid-19, but we appear to be at the back of the queue when it comes to government providing targeted support.

“Without passengers, an airport cannot run sustainably – yet it is vital for lifeline services, freight and other critical services such as post, search-and-rescue and maintenance and operation of offshore wind and North Sea oil and gas that airports stay open.

“Other countries have recognised this – it is time for the UK government to step up to the plate.”

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has estimated that revenue for the aviation sector will plummet by $252 billion this year compared to 2019 – a 44% drop.

Alexandre de Juniac, director-general and chief executive, warned without government help there would be no aviation sector “left standing”.