More Holes in the Airport Expansion Sieve?

Central Government’s Aviation 2050 blueprint, which started the feeding frenzy among UK airports to forget the environment and expand and damn those consequences, was a work of fiction at its birth.

Now, while aviation looks at surviving Covid-19 and rebooting afterwards (whenever that may be) more examples are coming to light showing how that flawed document has become totally irrelevant.

A New Economics Foundation article (link below), not only blows the data on expansion of airports being good for business users, when the majority of flights are for leisure purposes, but also shows how the financial gain for the UK Ltd economy is in fact reversed with the loss of domestic spends in tourism. The report highlights the job creation fallacy, by showing that in order for airlines to give the lowest ticket prices possible to passengers, the airport workers in the infrastructure that services those flights, have to be at the very bottom of the pay scale.

Please read the article and see what you think:

Now let us share with you the latest economic data from the International Air Transport Association. IATA has been the trade association for the world’s airlines since 1945. Their strapline is “our mission is to represent, lead and serve the airline industry”.

Their report shows the very real financial precipice faced by IATA members over the coming winter season, November-March. Based on second quarter financial results from 2020, IATA forecast the financial resilience of their members for those winter months. This is based on cash balances and near cash assets, and how long these would last if the cash burn of 2Q20 persisted.  They show a median figure of just over six months for the majority; the better off national/semi national airlines could last eighteen months; and for those at the lower end the figure is a sobering one month.

Next we have the announcement from the European Union that they have decided to continue to waive the agreement that an airline has to use an allocated airport slot 80% of the time, to keep that slot in the next season, for the upcoming winter. Whilst this gives airlines and therefore passengers security in knowing they will not have to fly empty flights (or have their flights cancelled at late notice) it does mean that airlines that are willing to fly and have a demand, cannot access slot-constrained airports, because other airlines ‘slot sit’.

Whilst from an airline perspective this works, from an airport’s it means that they cannot bring flights in, which will keep the staff they employ, and all the various support staff, in work.

These examples are just three of the many that airport operators and airlines face inter and post Covid-19. They show how the industry faces the biggest trough, in its very cyclical history, post war.

Yet Luton Borough Council and London Luton Airport Ltd continue to borrow money in vast quantities, to continue the fantasy that the airport must grow at any cost.

The future of that airport in its present form is far from certain, never mind the one that exists in the expensive computer-aided design fantasies they have.

Protect the town of Luton now; protect the Luton Airport that is there now

Stop Luton Airport Expansion

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