Government now working with airlines to bring passengers back to UK
Following travel restrictions, border closures and the closing of hotels, the UK government is now working with airlines to bring passengers home.
The UK government and UK-based airlines have emphasised that they are continuing to work closely together to ensure British passengers currently stuck overseas are able to return home through commercial means in light of the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on overseas travel.
Many countries across the globe have introduced border restrictions and closed hotels since the pandemic began. During a recent call, both the airline industry and the UK Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, underlined their commitment to helping those currently overseas to return to the country.
Shapps chaired the calls with major airlines and airports, where it was confirmed that the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Treasury will work together to develop a range of measures to support the aviation industry in the coming days, working to help the aviation sector manage the impacts of coronavirus.
Shapps said: “Coronavirus is having a crippling impact on the aviation industry and we cannot allow it to force world-leading, well-run, profitable firms out of business. We are extremely grateful to airport and airline teams who are continuing to help passengers get home safely. We stand firmly behind the sector and expect to announce a series of support measures shortly. But we also need to send a message to any British passengers overseas who are planning to return to the UK soon – it’s important to take account of the fast-moving situation and plan accordingly while flights remain available in many places.”
The Transport Secretary and the Aviation Minister have been in constant communication with the aviation industry since the coronavirus outbreak, working to ensure the government is fully informed about the challenges facing the sector.
Chief Executive of Airlines UK, Tim Alderslade, said: “Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on the airline sector, leading to an unprecedented fall in demand and a world-class UK industry facing a truly uncertain future. The promise from government to step in with a bespoke package of support for aviation to get us through the coming months is therefore very welcome, and we are currently working with Ministers to go through the detail of what this might entail and hope an announcement will be made in the coming days. In the meantime, we are working round the clock to bring home passengers stranded overseas, and will continue with these efforts, and we do urge passengers to check their airline’s website and where there are options to come home take them as soon as they can.”