The UK’s Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s (CILT) Aviation Policy Group has issued a statement on the impact of the coronavirus on the sector and its future.
Paul Le Blond, chairman, aviation policy group, CILT, says: “The effect of the coronavirus situation on aviation is particularly acute as many countries have severely restricted travel, in particular internationally. The first priority in aviation is always safety, and that includes the health of populations and people who work in the industry, so we have no complaint about the restrictions.
However, aviation can continue to help in meeting the emergency situation, by providing connectivity for essential travel and, vitally, as part of the supply chain for essential goods. Airfreight is generally not included in the restrictions, but most airfreight is carried in aircraft that normally also carry passengers.
It is essential, therefore, that governments and regulatory authorities demonstrate flexibility in order to ensure the continued flow of this essential cargo, and do all in their power to ensure that the economic consequences of the restrictions are minimised.
The current situation is temporary, and will be resolved in time. Aviation is an essential part of the world economy and social structure and, once the emergency is passed, demand will return. There will be casualties in the meantime, in terms of businesses and jobs and, most importantly, people, but aviation is a very flexible and adaptable sector and will be able to restart much of its activity.
Aviation is also changing rapidly to meet 2050 Net Zero targets. The best way to ensure that UK aviation can fully contribute to the post-coronavirus recovery period is for the Government to publish an aviation strategy that delivers a robust system for a global nation.
Past experience shows that aviation responds rapidly to events and is able to adapt and, indeed, is spurred into technological and business innovation by such events. Aviation has a great future and will contribute to the resolution of the current situation.”