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UK aerospace industry calling for bailout

© Isaac Struna

The UK aerospace industry has called on the government to make additional funding commitments following similar moves by France among other countries to support airlines and manufacturers. The increasingly difficult trading conditions since the pandemic has forced all British airlines to ground a majority of their planes for several months – causing severe damage to the sector with layoffs planned for the coming months.

Following France’s pledge to support the sector with loans, British aerospace firms and supply chains are calling for additional support over the coming months. With passenger traffic reaching its lowest level since the 1950s earlier during the lockdown, many companies have had to furlough a large part of their workforce until conditions improve.

The bailout could be initiated in the form of emergency government loans to support the sector but it is unclear whether this can be done given the sheer scale of Britain’s mounting debt pile from the cost of other interventions including the furlough scheme.

Can the aerospace industry make do without these loans? Governments are looking at ways of supporting these sectors, but with social distancing measures and subdued demand for air travel, a long spell of cost cutting and market disruption is inevitable over the course of 2020.