The quartet of companies that dominate ground operations at UK airports are begging the Treasury for a 12-month business rate suspension while on the brink of financial ruin.
Sky News has seen a letter from executives of Dnata, Menzies Aviation, Swissport and WFS to Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, who warns that “the collapse of the British aviation system has already started.”
The four bosses said they saw their incomes fall by 95% in the past week, and urged Mr. Sunak to renounce the commercial tariffs of the sector for 2020 “in order to allow us to reduce our cash costs and to maintain the operations essential aerials in motion ”.
Between them, the groups employed 25,000 people before coronavirus epidemic – with more than 10,000 layoffs as the aeronautics industry has been engulfed by the pandemic.
Companies such as Swissport provide services to airlines, including refueling, baggage handling and departure gate operations.
Leaders have expressed disappointment that they have not been able to secure a meeting with the Treasury to describe the crisis facing the industry.
They added that their businesses had been treated unfairly by the government when it had allocated specific areas to tariff relief.
“If the hospitality sector has benefited from such commercial price reduction, we are convinced that the same commercial price reduction should apply to aviation in order to contribute significantly to critical cash flows to the airline industry. ‘actual hour.
“After all, the personnel of our companies have been officially designated as a key employee, which hotel industry teams do not have. “
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Tariff vacations for ground handlers were necessary, they added, as they operate collectively from more than 1,000 “taxable and now practically unused properties, many of which support our freight, passenger handling, and passenger hall operations. baggage, fuel delivery services and maintenance facilities’.
The four companies are expected to pay between £ 3 million and £ 6 million in professional rates per year.