Pilots association Balpa claims its members are “absolutely aghast and frankly furious” after the government announced £2 billion in funding for cycling and walking.
The British Airline Pilots’ Association said the UK aviation industry had been left “in a death spiral” without a government support scheme.
It urged the government to take action to help prevent more jobs from being axed in the aviation sector, highlighting the added pressures of possible plans to introduce a 14-day quarantine for incoming travellers.
The government announced the new cycling and walking programme yesterday, confirming a total investment of £2 billion overall. It said an initial emergency fund of £250 million would see pop-up bike lines, wider pavements and cycle and bus corridors created within weeks.
Brian Strutton, Balpa’s general secretary, said: “The aviation sector is already facing 23,000 job cuts, with the potential for many more in the weeks and months to come.
“The government’s proposed 14-day quarantine proposal for incoming international travellers will put even more pressure on the industry for the foreseeable future, and despite repeated promises, we’ve seen not a single penny in dedicated, bespoke support for airlines.
“Given all this, British pilots will be absolutely aghast and frankly furious at £2 billion being found for ‘walking and cycling’ when the airline industry, which is so vital to the UK economy, is dying before our eyes.
“When will the government recognise that the British airline business is in a death spiral and intervene to support this vital industry and stop the jobs cull?”
Strutton said the 14-day quarantine scheme had not been properly thought through, adding that the “scientific basis” for it had yet to be shown.
He said there were still too many unanswered questions, including how airlines will be able to afford to fly under the planned restrictions.
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