Department for Transport written question – answered on 18th July 2022.

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Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Conservative, Chippenham

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to (a) support airlines in preventing flight cancellations and (b) help the airline sector to tackle staff shortages.

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

The aviation industry operates in the private sector, therefore it is the responsibility of the industry to manage demand, recruit and roster staff and have appropriate mitigations in place.

We have been clear that the aviation sector’s recovery and associated challenges are the responsibility of the aviation sector.

The Government recognised that while the issues was one for industry to solve, a series of targeted measures could support their efforts. Therefore, on 30 June, the Secretary of State announced a 22-point plan, which sets out the measures the Government is taking to support the aviation industry.

Included in these measures was a one-off slot “amnesty” giving airlines the flexibility to operate a reliable schedule and avoid last minute cancellations for passengers.

We have also changed the law to allow greater flexibility over background checks for aviation staff, cutting the time it takes to bring in newly recruited staff and alleviating pressure, while ensuring that safety and security are not compromised.

The Government has taken action to support the industry. Now the sector itself needs to take the appropriate steps to ensuring they deliver realistic summer schedules, work together as an ecosystem, and put the consumer first.

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