Air Travel Corridors

Scotland – in the House of Commons on 1st July 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Christine Jardine Christine Jardine Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Women and Equalities)

What recent discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) Ministers of the Scottish Government on establishing air travel corridors as covid-19 restrictions are eased (i) within Scotland, (ii) between Scotland and the rest of the UK and (iii) between Scotland and the rest of Europe.

Photo of Iain Stewart Iain Stewart Government Whip

The Government have been working closely with the devolved Administrations throughout the covid-19 pandemic to ensure a coherent UK-wide approach. The Government will shortly announce further details on regulations, including a full list of countries and territories from which arriving passengers will be exempted from the self-isolation requirements.

Photo of Christine Jardine Christine Jardine Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Women and Equalities)

Edinburgh Airport is not just one of the largest employers in my constituency when taken together with all the cargo handlers and the shops on site, but a linchpin of Edinburgh’s economy and Scotland’s economy. During this crisis, 80% of its staff have been furloughed, and it has gone from having 40,000 passengers pass through it on an average day to fewer than 200, and on some days none. Although I am deeply concerned about the airport, the airlines and the directly related jobs, they also feed into the tourism industry, which is worth an estimated £10.5 billion a year to Scotland. With the loss of the Edinburgh Festival, the Royal Highland Show, the incomplete Six Nations this year, and now the loss of tourism, potentially every job in Edinburgh is under threat. Will this Government use their—

Photo of Iain Stewart Iain Stewart Government Whip

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her question. I do know the importance that Edinburgh Airport in her constituency has not just for the airport but for the wider economy. I would be very happy to meet her to discuss her specific points in further detail, but the global airline industry is facing a huge challenge, and it will require considerable efforts to get it back on its feet.