Airports across the UK at risk of permanent closure as flights drop by 90 per cent – The Sun

AIRPORTS across the UK are at risk of closing for good as the coronavirus pandemic leaves 90 per cent of flights grounded.

Regional airports are likely to be affected the hardest.

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More than 7,000 flights departed from the UK during a week before the lockdown, according to the BBC, which has now dropped to just 711 last week.

EasyJet has grounded all of their flights indefinitely, while Ryanair and Jet2 have warned that a normal schedule is unlikely to resume until mid-June.

Airlines are now primarily running cargo flights – with East Midlands now operating half of their scheduled flights for transporting goods –  or limited repatriation flights to rescue stranded travellers.

Some airports are also operating as other medical facilities, such as Birmingham Airport becoming a temporary mortuary and Bristol Airport and Edinburgh Airport opening drive-through testing facilities.

However, with London City Airport closing, and Gatwick and Heathrow reducing their open terminals, airports are facing a crisis.

Smaller airports across the UK are likely to suffer the most, with many of them also facing problems since the collapse of Flybe.

Aviation analyst Martin Evans told the news site: "Now is the start of the period when they should be getting maximum revenue. If things return to normal by winter, that's the point they are at their quietest.

"There is a risk that we could see airports close."

He added that while companies that own the airports could be forced to close, another company could buy out the buildings to continue operating, although this remains uncertain.


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Trade body the Airport Operators Association (AOA) urged ministers last month to support airports in the country amid dwindling passenger numbers as flights are cancelled.

AOA chief executive Karen Dee said: "The Government must step in to see airports across the four home nations through the current crisis, and make an unequivocal commitment to doing whatever it takes to sustain the UK aviation industry.

"For the sake of the UK economy it is essential for the UK Government to catch up to its peers across the continent and provide support to the sector and the wider economy through financing, guarantees, grants and tax relief."

Brits are being advised to avoid booking a summer holiday abroad due to coronavirus, as countries could extend their lockdowns.

Instead, a staycation may be a better option with Cornwall and Devon hoping to attract visitors once the restrictions are lifted.

Cornwall tourism could be hit hard if tourists don't return during the summer, with 80 per cent of hotels and attractions facing closure otherwise.

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