The collapse of the UK’s aviation sector has already begun, according to the firms that provide ground handling services at airports.

Sky News has reported that it has seen a letter sent to chancellor Rishi Sunak from Dnata, Menzies Aviation, Swissport and WFS.

The firms are calling for a 12-month business rates holiday in 2020 having seen revenues collapse by 95% in the last week.

The firms say rates relief will allow them to reduce their cash costs and keep essential aviation operations running.

Sky News reported that executives of the four firms are disappointed not to have been granted a meeting with the Treasury to set out the scale of the threat to the sector.

The four firms employed 25,000 people before the coronavirus outbreak and have laid off more than 10,000 so far.