Christine Jardine, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, is calling on the UK and Scottish Governments to work together to support the aviation industry through the economic impact of covid-19.
The First Minister confirmed on 3rd July that the Scottish Government has not decided whether to apply the exemptions from quarantine for people travelling to and from Scotland to countries on the list announced by the UK Government.
Airport directors and airline operators say the delay will further damage Scotland’s economy, in comparison to the rest of the UK, and that a protracted delay in the so -called air-bridge policy will have a negative impact far beyond the summer.
Several companies in the sector, including Swissport and British Airways, recently announced job cuts and the airport is also understood to be under intense financial pressure.
In any normal year, Edinburgh Airport is worth over £1 billion to the Scottish economy and approximately half of this directly fuels Edinburgh’s economy.
Scotland’s aviation industry and the wider tourism sector is alone worth £10.5 billion to the Scottish economy.
Ms Jardine is calling for more joined-up thinking between the two Governments and for them to live up to promises, over 2 months ago, to provide a “transport support package”.
Ms Jardine said:
“The lack of current support for the aviation industry in Scotland is truly disgraceful. Our aviation sector plays a critical role in connecting Scottish business to the rest of the world.
“Edinburgh Airport is one of the largest employers in my constituency, but countless others across the country also rely on it to operate.
“The latest announcement is likely to push aviation back months and completely ignores Scotland’s earlier summer holidays, further hampering Scotland’s ability to economically recover from covid-19.
“What is clear is that the UK and Scottish Governments need to work collaboratively to support the aviation and wider tourism industry. We now need to see both Governments listen to the sector and publish a national strategy.”