Thank you for contacting me about Government financial assistance for airlines. It really is appreciated in what I know is a difficult time.
The aviation sector is important to the UK economy, and like other sectors of the economy it will be able to draw upon the unprecedented package of measures that the Chancellor has announced to support businesses through the coronavirus outbreak. He has written to airline operators advising them on the steps they could take if they come into financial difficulty.
The Chancellor has made clear that while the Government is willing to consider the situation of individual firms, airlines must in the first instance have exhausted all other methods of help before asking for the taxpayer to support them. These would include using the measures the Government has already announced, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which offers firms financial support to retain furloughed employees, and contacting existing investors to ask for additional capital.
This is a fast-moving situation and I will continue to monitor it closely, but I recognise the importance of the aviation industry both in creating jobs and in improving regional connectivity.
I know the Government also remains committed to working closely with the industry to address aviation emissions, so that important climate change commitments can be met.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.