Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports which owns and manages Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, said: “Anything other than a four nations approach to the easing of the quarantine restrictions is going to put further jobs and livelihoods at risk.
“Having a piecemeal approach will compound the devastating impact the blanket quarantine measures have had on our aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors. People are rightly concerned for their health, however, they’re also fearful for their jobs. The introduction of these risk-based measures would allow us to strike the important balance of protecting public health while getting the country and our economy moving again.
“Adopting a different approach is going to do further damage to our aviation sector which has already been buffeted by widespread job losses, and it will have wider, long term implications on the ability of our economy to recover. This isn’t just about people being able to go on a summer holiday, it’s about safely re-establishing the routes that drive trade and investment.”
Grant support for Renfrewshire businesses to mitigate the impact of Coronavirus has now topped £23million, with 98% of all applications having been considered.
Renfrewshire Council’s business teams have awarded 2075 grants from the Scottish Government’s Coronavirus Business Support fund.
Some 1876 small business grants have been issued, totalling £18.5million and 199 retail, hospitality and leisure business grants have been awarded, providing £4.8million in relief for companies to counter the impact of Coronavirus.
This small business grant has now been extended to support tenants and occupiers of premises such as shared office spaces, business incubators and shared industrial units
Local businesses are urged to apply now if they require support, with the Scottish Government confirming new applications to this fund will close on Friday 10 July 2020.
A further £380,000 in hardship grants has helped 190 people newly self-employed.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Coronavirus is having a huge impact on all communities across Scotland and upon the local and national economy.
“Our business teams are working tirelessly to approve and award government grants and provide local businesses with support and guidance at this tremendously difficult time.
“I would encourage local employers and employees to visit our support for business web page which is being constantly updated with all the available funding schemes, including sector-specific support and employability advice too.”
The council web page www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/
Throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, Renfrewshire business leaders, enterprise and education agencies have been in regular contact to consider the current situation and collaborate on the steps needed towards recovery.
Councillor Nicolson said: “The recent news of the potential for major job losses at Rolls-Royce is a devastating blow for everyone affected, including many Renfrewshire residents employed at the Inchinnan site.
“Our priority is to identify how we can support those at risk of losing their jobs and we are in contact with Rolls Royce and working with Government and national agencies to help mitigate the impact of this decision wherever possible.
“I know many more businesses big and small are struggling and we must be ready and able to tackle the social and economic harm now and in the months ahead.”
AGS Airports, which owns and manages Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, has introduced a series of health measures to provide a safe environment for staff and passengers. The measures are being introduced as a number of airlines prepare to relaunch key domestic routes later this month.
Passengers travelling through the airports will be asked to come prepared with their own facial coverings whilst all staff will be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks. Protective screens have been installed in key areas, including the check-in and security halls, and passengers will be asked to observe safe, physical distancing wherever possible.
AGS has also enhanced its already thorough cleaning regimes with a specific focus on the regular disinfecting of all hard surfaces. Other additional health measures include:
- The use of electrostatic fogging machines which disinfect surfaces within two minutes.
- Passenger touchpoints, including security trays, are being treated with an antimicrobial product which kills germs and lasts for up to 30 days on surfaces. It has been tested to be more than 99.99% effective against COVID-19.
- Self-cleaning stations for trollies have been set-up in baggage halls.
- Hand sanitiser dispensers have been installed throughout the terminals.
- Floor markers are in place across the terminals to help passengers physically distance where it is possible to do so.
- Staff have received training on how to protect customers and colleagues against COVID-19.
- Clear signage is in place advising of the measures.
Crucially, anyone who is displaying Coronavirus symptoms is being asked not to travel to the airports.
Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, said: “Our airports have remained open throughout this pandemic to provide crucial lifeline services. During this time, we’ve worked closely with both the UK and Scottish governments, and their officials, to ensure we follow all health guidance.
“As the lockdown begins to ease and airlines start to confirm plans to restart domestic connectivity, it’s important we do everything we possibly can to keep our airports clean and safe for our staff and for our passengers. These measures, which are in place at all three of our airports, will ensure we help each other to travel safely through our terminals at a time when we are working to get our country and the economy moving again.”
View this post on Instagram
Yesterday, we said goodbye to ‘Ruby Tuesday’ for likely the last time. This Queen of the Sky has been apart of serving the Glasgow > Orlando route for the last 13 years. Virgin Atlantic has unfortunately announced that the B747’s will be retired from their fleet earlier than expected. Have you been aboard? We would love to hear and see your memories! 🛫❤️️ 📸 Kevin Mitchell . . . #aviation #planespotting #747 #virginatlantic #glasgowairport #glasgow #glasgowlife #glasgowcity #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #orlandoflorida #aviationlovers #aviationdaily #aviationgeek #boeing747 #747400 #travelvibes
Two young aviation fans got the chance to chat and put their questions to one of Glasgow Airport’s top bosses via video link.
Ross McMillan, 10, and his brother Ryan, seven, are huge fans of the airport and regularly post pictures of their love of planes on the airport’s social media channels.
The Paisley brothers shared a picture of them surrounded by 134 model aircraft, which caught the attention of the airport’s general manager of operations, Ronald Leitch.
Langcraigs Primary School pupils Ross and Ryan were invited to join in a video call with Ronald to talk about their passion for planes and to ask some questions, including what he liked and disliked about working at Glasgow Airport.
Ronald also promised to take Ross, Ryan and their parents on a behind-the-scenes VIP tour of the airport as soon as things return to normal.
The boys’ mum Caroline said: “Ross and Ryan where absolutely thrilled to take part in the chat and were so excited when the airport team got in touch.
“They love everything about aviation and airports as you’ll have seen from the number of model aircraft they have, so it was really good of Ronald to take the time to catch up with them, especially during the lockdown. It really made their day.
“They are also really looking forward to getting a behind-the-scenes tour of the airport once things get back to normal.”
Ronald said: “I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Ross and Ryan during the lockdown and I’m hugely impressed with their collection of model aircraft – it puts my own to shame.
“They know their aircraft and are very knowledgeable about the airport, which is really heartening. I’m pretty sure that we’ll see them working in the industry in some form in the future and I look forward to welcoming them in for a special VIP tour.”
Glasgow Airport’s Long-stay Car Park is currently being transformed into a drive-thru mobile testing facility to support the country’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The 17-acre car park site based on Abbotsinch Road is part of a series of measures being introduced to increase testing and response to the spread of COVID-19.
The Glasgow Airport-based facility is being introduced to test frontline NHS staff only at this stage and those being asked to provide swab samples from Sunday onwards will do so by appointment only. The testing centre is not open to the public.
Due to be in operation from the afternoon on Sunday 5 April, the new testing centre will have up to five lanes and provide capacity for a greater number of COVID-19 tests each day. It will operate between 10am and 4:30pm from Monday.
Mark Johnston, Glasgow Airport’s managing director, said: “We are in regular contact with both the UK and Scottish Governments and have offered our facilities available to support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Glasgow Airport has the space and infrastructure capable of accommodating a large-scale testing area and we are only too happy to support in this way. The impact of this virus affects us all and Glasgow Airport, the wider AGS Airports Ltd group and our people will continue to support the national effort to overcome COVID-19 and stand ready to help in any way we can.”
Alister Jack, Secretary of State for Scotland said: “This new testing centre at Glasgow Airport, funded by the UK Government, will keep our frontline NHS staff doing the jobs they are trained to do. Allowing those who do not have the disease to go back to work and treat those who are most in need of care.
“This is part of the UK government’s plan to vastly expand our testing capacity as we continue to work around the clock and across the country to protect the vulnerable, support the NHS, and save lives.”
Last week, Glasgow and the wider AGS Airports Ltd group donated £40,000 to homeless charity Simon Community Scotland’s #GiveHope appeal. The funding is being used to support the purchase of hotel accommodation for people who are homeless where they will be able to stay in single rooms, allowing them to self-isolate if necessary whilst accessing the range of services offered by the Simon Community.
For the latest guidance on COVID-19 visit: www.nhsinform.scot
If your company is looking for support during the coronavirus pandemic, Real Business Rescue have this business help centre
If your are looking for a clear picture of what government support may be available, Company Debt have built a useful page here.
The strict travel restrictions put in place by various governments in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have, understandably, resulted in the widespread grounding of flights.
With many of our airline partners having completed their repatriation flights and in line with passenger demand, there are now only a limited number of services available from the AGS group of airports (Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton). In light of this and to protect the health and wellbeing of all the staff who work so hard to keep our airports running, we will be introducing temporary restrictions on our operations from 1 April 2020.
To support our country’s response to this accelerating pandemic, Aberdeen and Glasgow airports will continue to support essential services. These will include lifeline links to remote communities in the Highlands and Islands, NHS and air ambulance services, and helicopters for the oil and gas industry. Southampton Airport will similarly support lifeline services to the Channel Islands. Our airports will also cater for those airlines who are continuing to operate. At this stage, it is difficult to say how long these measures will remain in place, however, we will continue to follow all government advice and keep them under constant review.
We are facing extremely challenging times and like all organisations, we have a duty of care to our staff, our business partners and to all those who use our airports. Introducing temporary operating restrictions will allow us to significantly reduce the number of staff who must travel to work.
Alongside this, we are working with our people and their trade union representatives to ensure those employees who will be furloughed during this period will have access to the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We have also proposed other measures to support the business at this time including temporary pay cuts for all staff including our Board and leadership team, an end to bonus payments, the option for staff to take unpaid leave and the option for reduced working hours.
These have been difficult decisions to take, however, I am absolutely clear they will enable us to protect jobs, protect the health and wellbeing of our employees and ensure AGS Airports is in a strong position to aid our country’s recovery when we emerge from this crisis.
AGS AIRPORTS PLEDGES £40K TO
SIMON COMMUNITY’S HOMELESS APPEAL
AGS Airports, which owns and manages Glasgow Airport, has responded to the #GiveHope appeal launched by homeless charity, Simon Community Scotland, by pledging £40,000 which will be used to support some of the most vulnerable people in society during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The funding will be used to support the purchase of hotel accommodation for people who are homeless where they will be able to stay in single rooms, allowing them to self-isolate if necessary whilst accessing the range of services offered by the Simon Community.
The charity launched the appeal in response to a lack of suitable shelter facilities within Glasgow, several of which had to close due to health concerns.
Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, said: “We initially contacted the Simon Community with the offer of using our second terminal after partially closing our buildings at Glasgow Airport. This is due to the lack of passenger demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When it became clear this wasn’t a viable option and we learned of the very real plight facing the city’s homeless community, many of which have underlying health conditions, we quickly took the decision to redirect funds from our charitable FlightPath Fund.
“This is an extremely challenging time for businesses across the UK. We are all taking steps to protect our businesses and our employees, but also want to help those who really need it most and do whatever we possibly can to protect the most vulnerable in our society. The Simon Community does amazing work and everyone at AGS is pleased this money will help support the homeless at a time when it is needed most.”
Lorraine McGrath, Chief Executive of Simon Community Scotland, added “It is exactly this type of rapid humanitarian response that will assist us to not just provide comfort, dignity and somewhere safe for people to be, but it will undoubtedly save lives by protecting some of the most physically vulnerable people in Glasgow right now. We are hugely grateful for AGS Airports’ rapid response to our appeal and we hope many more come alongside them in helping us help those in the worst possible circumstances as this crisis grows”.
A spokesperson for AGS Airports which owns and manages Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, said: “The loss of Flybe is a devasting blow for the airline’s employees and the tens of thousands of passengers who relied on its routes. It unfortunately brings into stark focus the fragility of the UK’s domestic connectivity. Earlier this year the UK Government committed to levelling up all regions of the UK by conducting a review of regional connectivity. It’s vital this work is progressed as a matter of urgency and reforming Air Passenger Duty (APD) is part of that review. We are already speaking to other airlines about backfilling the routes operated by Flybe for which there is clear demand. In the meantime, the advice to passengers who were scheduled to travel with Flybe is not to travel to the airport and to visit the Civil Aviation Authority’s website for further advice at www.caa.co.uk/news.
Government response to the collapse of Flybe
A Government spokesperson said:
“Following a commercial decision by the company, Flybe has ceased trading.
“We recognise the impact this will have on Flybe’s passengers and staff. Government staff will be on hand at all affected UK airports to help passengers.
“The vast majority of Flybe routes are served by different transport options, and we have asked bus and train operators to accept Flybe tickets and other airlines to offer reduced rescue fares to ensure passengers can make their journeys as smoothly as possible.
“We know this will be a worrying time for Flybe staff and our Jobcentre Plus Rapid Response Service stands ready to help them find a new job as soon as possible.
“We are working closely with industry to minimise any disruption to routes operated by Flybe, including by looking urgently at how routes not already covered by other airlines can be re-established by the industry.
“Through the reviews of regional connectivity and Airport Passenger Duty we have announced, we will bring forward recommendations to help ensure that the whole of the UK has the connections in place that people rely on.
“Flybe’s financial difficulties were longstanding and well documented and pre-date the outbreak of COVID-19. We are well prepared a potential outbreak and this week we have set out an action plan with details of our response.”