Image via Vecteezy

Image via Vecteezy

APEX/IFSA have been actively appealing to governments for aid on behalf of its members since COVID-19 began affecting air travel. In its latest communication with government officials, the associations are requesting further support for the European commercial aviation industry.

Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and International Flight Services Association (IFSA) CEO Dr. Joe Leader has written an open letter to Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport, to request financial relief for airline suppliers and vendors.

The letter, dated April 14, begins by commending the EU’s response to the coronavirus crisis, which saw finance ministers agree on half-a-trillion euros’ worth of support on April 9.

“We are pleased to see the actions already taken by the European Commission in order to ease the regulatory burden for the aviation industry, notably on waiving air slots,” wrote Dr. Leader. “We hereby would like to commend you for your continued support to the airline industry and ask you to include all customer-centric airline supply chain companies as they need your support equally.”

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting airline suppliers and vendors both big and small. Recently, Airbus announced plans to cut its production rates by a third, but Leader also highlighted that “airline caterers, food suppliers, systems manufacturers and installers, connectivity companies, content distributors and other key suppliers” are struggling.

The letter continues, “We at IFSA/APEX are concerned that when the EU and the world recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and air travel returns to normal, there will not be the key airlines supplier partners available for the rebound. Due to the severe financial burden they are currently facing, companies are obliged to consider severe measures such as layoffs. We therefore fear they might not be able to meet the demand when travel bans and restrictions will be lifted.”

The letter follows a similar version sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the US on March 19.

Click here for ongoing updates regarding how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the commercial aviation industry, or visit APEX Media’s What We’re Made Of campaign homepage, which sees APEX members describe how their businesses have adapted to survive during COVID-19.