MIAMI – As the UK government resumes the ban on international travel, Manchester Airports Group (MAG) CEO Charlie Cornish has voiced his concerns. This time, Cornish has warned that UK airports and airlines may be forced to “act quickly to secure their future.”
On Saturday, October 31, the government decided to stop international air travel without warning via Twitter. It did not take long for Cornish to reply, stating that Twitter was not the proper place to find out that the government was “effectively shutting down your business.”
Cornish also criticized the government’s attitude towards aviation by arguing that it “has neglected” it “from day one of this pandemic.” In fact, he said while the UK authorities publicly promised to support the sector, the support never materialized.
In August, the MAG CEO had already criticized UK quarantine rules, arguing that the government was not considering the long-term impacts.
Sustainability Relies on Immediate Actions
Apart from the criticism, Cornish said that the prevention of further large-scale job losses relied on government support. Thus, he believes that a package of support must come with relief geared towards business rates and policing costs. This should also include employee costs and reform of passenger taxes to help UK airports.
According to Cornish, the industry is already suffering the impact of “chaotic changes in policy.” He specified that job losses are in the order of tens of thousands.
Regarding MAG’s airports, the group already entered into consultation to propose up to 892 redundancies due to the pandemic. These dismissals would take place at Manchester (MAN), London Stansted (STN), and East Midlands (EMA) airports.
While stating that the government has not “understood, or even tried to understand, what the impact of this latest decision will be,” Cornish requested some actions. “Now is the time for the government to step off the sidelines and take the action that is so desperately needed,” he encouraged.
Featured photo: MAG CEO, Charlie Cornish. Photo: magairports.com