Jobs on the brink as aviation struggles to weather the storm

Its efforts are being frustrated, however, by the suspension of a rule that forces incumbents to relinquish landing slots if they fail to use them 80pc of the time. 

Chief executive József Váradi says: “The slot waiver is a hugely distortive measure on the market and it undermines a level playing field and protects the inefficient from the efficient.

“Looking at it from a Gatwick perspective, we are one of the few airlines that could expand and bring more capacity, bring more service, bring more employment to Gatwick and the British economy, but we are unable to do that because of airlines sitting on the slots.” Wizz announced plans on Tuesday to park parts of its fleet throughout the winter to conserve cash.

Further consolidation in the sector is inevitable, says Furlong, and prices are likely to remain low for some time as carriers with better liquidity use discounting to attract passengers. 

But with the industry still in the eye of the virus-induced storm, Lundgren says the Government needs to act now to provide sector specific support.

“Time is literally running out,” he says. “After all, it is due to government restrictions that we cannot fly to the extent that we see that there is demand for. That’s the reason why we are making these calls.”

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