Air Routes: Coronavirus

Department for Transport written question – answered on 1st March 2021.

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Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Labour, Exeter

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what stimulus package he plans to implement to incentivise new air routes being set up by airlines after strict travel restrictions are eased after the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Department recognises the severe impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on travel, and work continues to understand how best the industry can be supported at this time. The Government is working on a strategic framework for the recovery of the sector. It will explore the return to growth of the aviation sector, and will include consideration of workforce and skills, regional connectivity, noise, innovation and regulation, and consumer issues.

Aviation businesses have access to the unprecedented economic support package that the Chancellor has put in place to help businesses to manage the challenges they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Firms can continue to draw upon the package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including a Bank of England scheme for firms to raise capital, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Time to Pay flexibilities with tax bills, financial support for employees including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and VAT deferrals.

In addition to this, the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS) opened for applications on 29 January to provide support for eligible commercial airports and ground handlers in England. It will provide support up to the equivalent of their business rates liabilities or COVID-19 losses – whichever is lower – in the 2020/21 financial year, subject to certain conditions and a cap per claimant of £8m.

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