The Airport Operators Association warns that airports could lose up to £4 billion in revenue this year because of the pandemic.
It said that in the first four months of the pandemic – during which passenger numbers fell by up to 99% – UK airports lost just under £2 billion, the equivalent of more than £150 million each day.
The AOA says the scale of the losses should act as a “wake-up call” to the government for targeted aid.
Last month, the association warned 20,000 airport jobs are at risk, along with 90,000 others connected to airports, so the total is likely to exceed 110,000.
The association is renewing its call for targeted support through relief from business rates in the current financial year.
Its list of demands also include a suspension of Air Passenger Duty to help boost demand and support for staff beyond the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in October
Karen Dee, AOA chief executive, said: “These projections reinforce the significant challenges that UK airports continue to face after the worst four months in the history of commercial aviation.
“Whilst we have seen passengers begin to return, passenger numbers are not expected to reach pre-Covid levels for a considerable period and airports will continue to face challenges and pressures unimaginable six months ago.
“Airports have done everything in their power to weather the storm and have done so without the specific government support afforded to other sectors.
“That our airports lost close to £2 billion during the lockdown should serve as a wake-up call to government and lead them to finally grasp the severity of the challenge and threat that the pandemic has posed and continues to pose to the sector.
“We cannot have a full national economic recovery without a thriving aviation sector; airports are essential components of Britain’s ambition to be a global trading nation and form a vital network for economic stimulus across the UK, levelling up the regions.
“These figures show that it is high time that the government acts with urgency and supports airports through the biggest challenge that they have ever faced.”
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