Airlines UK: Jobs put in danger by slow aviation reopening

flypop prepares to take off from London Stansted

A new report, commissioned by Airlines UK, shows how critical aviation jobs are to every community and constituency in the country.

Data shows just how important aviation is at a local level.

Pre-pandemic, over a quarter of all constituencies in Great Britain had more than 1,000 people employed in aviation jobs.

Many communities are heavily reliant on aviation, with 5,000 or more residents employed in the sector within airlines, airports or aerospace manufacturers and their suppliers.

A further 60 per cent of constituencies in Britain have 500 or more residents working in aviation, demonstrating the wide reach and importance of aviation as a generator of jobs across the whole country.

Importantly, these are well-paid jobs, with average salaries in airlines, airports and aerospace in all cases exceeding the regional average, and between 22-60 per cent above the national average.

Data shows that before the current crisis the aviation industry directly employed over 530,000 people across the country, reaching every nation and region: the north-east is home to 10,000 people working in the sector; Wales 21,000; the West Midlands 32,000.

These numbers exclude those in jobs that would not exist without aviation such as airport retail, hotels or tourism, so the overall jobs impact will be even higher.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, the industry body representing UK-registered carriers, said: “This report clearly sets out the importance of the UK aviation sector in supporting livelihoods in local communities throughout the entire country.

“Almost every constituency in the UK is impacted, and many are truly dependant on the well-paid jobs aviation generates.

“However, today the pandemic continues to put these roles at risk, with a meaningful restart to air travel still yet to materialise.”

He added: “First and foremost, safeguarding these livelihoods means getting the sector moving again in a proper way, reopening international travel as our rivals across Europe are doing rather than the piecemeal approach we have currently.

“But it will also require additional, dedicated economic support including furlough extension that recognises aviation’s ongoing crisis, and our longer road to recovery than almost all other sectors.”

The report was supported by Heathrow Airport, Manchester Airports Group and TUI Group.

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