I visited Liverpool John Lennon Airport to speak to management about how they are navigating the pandemic and the impact it has had on them, their passengers and the airlines that fly from there to an ever-increasing number of destinations right across Europe.
Covid-19 has hit many industries hard as we’ve seen, with the aviation sector still slowly recovering from covid-related lockdowns and the uncertainty over which countries the airlines that fly from Liverpool would be allowed visit. The easing of restrictions has meant many of their routes have now opened up, but even as we spoke yesterday news broke that the new and disturbing Omicron variant had spread to Europe from South Africa, with South Africa being given red-list status for travel. This uncertainty means that the aviation industry are still not able to plan for a full return to pre-Covid service levels.
The carriers who fly from Liverpool and the destinations they serve has meant they have been impacted less than some of the larger airports who have lost much more from business flight income and long-haul revenue, but they are still some way off returning to 2019 levels of service. Where many across the sector have struggled is in communications with Government, who have been slow to update on changes in travel restrictions and have ignored pleas for continued help and support to ensure airports like ours could keep staff on and continue to pay them competitive wages. That though is symptomatic of the shamefully bungled response to the pandemic from Boris Johnson and his corrupt crew of ministers.
As you can see from the photo Liverpool now services routes to an impressive number of locations, from domestic airports to as far a field as Tallin and – with Christmas fast approaching – Lapland. I’ll be keeping in touch as always and look forward to seeing a return to full service as soon as is possible.