Airport group's CEO reacts to Covid roadmap and says Budget offers hope

Charlie Cornish, the Chief Executive Officer of Manchester Airports Group, owners of London Stansted Airport

Charlie Cornish, the Chief Executive Officer of Manchester Airports Group, owners of London Stansted Airport. - Credit: MAG

Manchester Airports Group which owns and operates London Stansted Airport has welcomed the Prime Minister's announcement with the timetable for lifting Covid restrictions, to get life back to normal.

But they hope the badly hit aviation industry will be remembered and supported in the upcoming Budget.

MAG Group CEO Charlie Cornish said: “Government statistics show the travel and tourism industry has been the hardest hit by the pandemic, with tens of thousands of jobs already lost and thousands more depending on the recovery of our sector.

“That is why we strongly welcome the Prime Minister’s recognition that international travel is a key part of the Government’s road map – and that overseas trips could resume in May if circumstances allow.  That prospect will have given many people real hope for the summer ahead.

“The Global Travel Taskforce now has a vital job to do over the coming weeks to create a clear and deliverable plan for overseas travel ahead of the publication deadline of April 12, so that people can start planning for the summer at the earliest opportunity."


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Mr Cornish said that aviation would be one of the last sectors to reopen and airports had suffered from huge losses to stay open over the last year for emergencies, essential journeys and critical freight such as PPE and other medical supplies. 

London Stansted Airport captured by a drone during the Covid-19 pandemic

Archive: London Stansted Airport captured by a drone during the Covid-19 pandemic, summer 2020 - Credit: Manchester Airports Group

Cargo being loaded at London Stansted Airport

Cargo being loaded at London Stansted Airport - Credit: MAG

He added: “Next week’s Budget represents an immediate opportunity to acknowledge the unique plight of our sector, and its critical role in driving the recovery of the wider UK economy.

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"Only by providing the same support that is already on offer to other industries will Government enable our airports to help deliver its ambitions for a balanced, global Britain as we emerge from this pandemic.”

In a broadcast from the House of Commons on Monday (February 22), Prime Minister Boris Johnson said all schools and colleges will reopen on March 8.

There will be four stages to unlocking from the Covid pandemic restrictions, with each stage being a minimum of five weeks apart, with a target for all restrictions gone by June 21.

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