COVID-19: European Business aviation under threat
18 March 2020 (Brussels). The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) respects the decision by European authorities to temporarily restrict non-essential travel, but calls on the European Commission, the Member States and Switzerland to consider all recovery and relief measures available to ensure business continuity for operators, airports and others in the business aviation industry.
Given the current global pandemic, EBAA respects the European Commission, the Member States and Switzerland’s decisions to temporarily restrict non-essential travel in the interest of public health. For business aviation, safety is – and always will be – our top priority.
In this crisis, one area of the business aviation sector – medical flights – should clearly be exempt from any restrictions, as they help save lives. On average European business aviation operates no less than 70 medical flights per day.
The rapid spread of COVID-19, along with government and business-imposed travel restrictions, are having a devastating impact on the aviation industry, and the business aviation sector alike. It is a significant contributor to the European economy, connecting three times more destinations than scheduled airlines, generating nearly €90 billion, and employing over 370,000 people.
EBAA Secretary-General Athar Husain Khan said: “It is still too early to fully evaluate the extent of the crisis’ impact on the business aviation sector. But we have been receiving reports of operators’ aircraft grounded, airport closures and staff being put on leave across Europe due to the rapidly evolving crisis and travel restrictions”.
Business aviation calls on the European Commission, the Member States and Switzerland to consider all recovery and relief measures available to safeguard our members’ operational and business continuity. It is critical to allow business aviation operators to return to normal operations as soon as possible so they can support the recovery of the wider economy.
Over the coming weeks and months, the business aviation sector will continue to collaborate intensely with all authorities as they work to contain this outbreak and mitigate its impact on European citizens and the world.