Gatwick Update

In recent weeks I have been contacted by many constituents who are deeply concerned about the impact of coronavirus on the airline industry and the aviation sector more generally.

I very much share these concerns. Not only is Aviation an extremely important industry for the country it is especially important for us locally, bordering Gatwick as we do and with many local residents also working at Heathrow. 

The sector is able to draw upon the unprecedented package of measures that the Chancellor has announced to support businesses through the coronavirus outbreak and he has written to airline operators advising them on the steps they could take if they come into financial difficulty. 

I have been following this situation closely and have been involved in a series of conference calls, not only with parliamentary colleagues from West Sussex, but MPs from across the South East. Whilst serving Ministers do not sign collective letters I am taking a close interest in the discussions on the current crisis and raising issues on behalf of constituents direct with Ministers.

I have also written to the Managing Directors of both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, to ask how their companies are working to get though the pandemic. The situation is fast-moving. We all understand the medium-term risks for the industry but the scale of these are as yet unproven and I expect the industry to explore fully the options available to counter the immediate impact of Covid-19.