I am in full support of the call Labour is making for the Government to act quickly and put in place a support package for the aviation sector which must include robust environmental conditions to aid a transition to a green economy.
Learning from international examples, the Government must require that any bailout packages given to aviation companies can only be granted on the condition that a clear climate plan, consistent with the Paris agreement, is in place and that companies have set out clear conditions to protect workers.
1.6 million jobs depend on the UK’s aviation sector. In recent weeks, Virgin Atlantic, Ryan Air and British Airways have all announced job cuts. We are clear the aviation sector must become environmentally sustainable, however, to protect against short term unemployment and help stimulate that change the Government must take action now to ensure long term needs are met.
Labour has called for any Government bailouts to have the following conditions:
Jobs are protected. Staff salaries are protected with a clear commitment to workers’ rights.
There is a clear commitment to tackling climate change and for the industry to use cleaner fuels and other cutting-edge low or zero emission technologies.
Any company in receipt of money must ensure their tax base is in the UK.
No dividends should be paid until the company is proven to be commercially viable, as we have seen in other countries.
A commitment to pay UK based suppliers as a priority.
All operators fully comply, without delay, with all consumer right regulations – particularly with regards to giving full refunds and that they offer customers the opportunity choose the greenest flight option.
I am pleased to be part of a Labour frontbench team that will continue to press the Government to act with urgency on this matter.