MPs Say Airline Bailouts Should Come With Massive Environmental Strings Attached

By Gary Cutlack on at

A group of MPs from across the main parties has asked the government to think very hard before guaranteeing the existence of any airlines that ask for financial support, and says that any potential bailout or special loans should be dependent on the fliers agreeing to harder and faster carbon output cuts.

The letter, signed by 20 MPs, says: "Airlines, airports and travel operators are one of the biggest single contributors to global emissions and they must be made to do more. If public money is used to save them, they must be required by law to do more to tackle climate change."

They should also be told to offer full refunds and stop messing about with rebooking and vouchers in order to try to keep hold of customers' money, and any of the (formerly) profitable businesses should be forced to scrap dividend payouts to shareholders in return for any official financial assistance.

Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney says there needs to be a "bespoke package" for airlines and travel companies in order to limit the potential for job losses; although BA has already revealed it's set to axe 12,000 staff in a mass redundancy wave, with CEO Alex Cruz saying: "There is no government bailout standing by for BA and we cannot expect the taxpayer to offset salaries indefinitely. We will see some airlines go out of business."

No one seems to have told Wizz Air about any of this, mind, as it's restarting some flights from London Luton on May 1, with the promise that it'll simply clean planes a bit better and hand out hand wipes and that will make everything OK. [iNews]