“Government inaction is hurting Airports like Manchester” claim CEO

Reporter: Jon Chubb
Date published: 27 August 2020

The CEO of Manchester Airport Group has called for an end to what he’s described as the Government’s “sluggish, illogical and chaotic” approach to quarantine.

Charlie Cornish’s words come as Manchester Airport is expecting to see passenger numbers fall considerably this Bank Holiday weekend when compared with this time last year.

Indeed 12-months ago the Airport headed into the weekend by recording the busiest day in it’s 82-year history, but this year those numbers are expected to fall to less than a quarter of that with Mr Cornish claiming the airport will be lucky to see 25,000 travellers.

Earlier this week the Airport announced it was closing Terminal Two as a result of low passenger numbers.

Charlie Cornish has said: “If reports are to be believed, our government was due to debate taking a more realistic and passenger-friendly approach to quarantine decisions on Monday at its Covid Committee. But this meeting didn’t happen, and we hear it’s now due to happen today.  It’s not the first time a critical decision in this area has been put off, with no credible explanation for the delay.

“Indeed throughout the pandemic, there has been no evidence of any recognition from the government of the need to protect the travel industry and enable it to recover from what is undoubtedly the biggest crisis it has ever faced.

“This is an industry that collectively supports around 2m jobs, with MAG alone making an economic contribution of £8.2bn to the UK each year.

“We see no signs that it wants to avoid further jobs losses, or an appreciation of the critical role airports will have in the economic revival of regions across the country as we gingerly emerge from this crippling pandemic.

“This in stark contrast to the approach we have seen taken by numerous governments around the world, whose decisive action to protect their aviation sectors makes clear how much value they attach to them.

“From the very start of this pandemic, we have appealed for a support package for airports. But our request for business rates relief was ignored, despite lockdown.

“By contrast, Germany has secured EU State Aid approval, in order to compensate airports for lost revenue and protect their futures.

“The failure to recognise the need for direct financial support was disappointing to say the least, but perhaps not surprising when you consider our government already places its airports at a competitive disadvantage by levying some of the highest passenger taxes in the world.”


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