£34m loan for Liverpool John Lennon Airport approved by combined authority

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has today approved a loan of £34m to Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA).

It said this is aimed at providing stability for the Peel-owned airport during the COVID-19 recovery period.

Along with the wider aviation sector, the COVID-19 pandemic means that the airport has experienced a material adverse effect on its business.

The combined authority said LJLA is a vital strategic infrastructure asset for the city region, supporting an estimated 6,000 local jobs, providing £250m per annum in economic impact and is an important facility for city region residents.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “International connectivity is essential for the local economy and the roles of international gateways such as ports, airports and cruise terminals as economic hubs and drivers for local economies and tourism need to be maximised.

“That is why it is right that today we have agreed this loan facility to provide stability for the airport, its passengers and other users during the COVID-19 recovery period.”

In March the airport announced cutbacks to conserve resources after airlines grounded their fleets following the imposition of lockdown measures and international border closures.

The measures included pay cuts, short-time working and some redundancies.

Airport bosses said at the time: “At Liverpool John Lennon Airport we continue to remain open for business, however, with substantial reductions in flights and passenger numbers for the coming weeks ahead, we are now having to implement measures to ensure the sustainability of the business during these extreme circumstances.

“All cost reduction opportunities are being pursued and this will, unfortunately, necessitate salary reductions for airport company employees, including the airport’s executive team, reduced working weeks, temporary lay-offs and a number of redundancies.

“All capital expenditure has been deferred, too.”

The statement added: “Liverpool John Lennon Airport plays a significant role in the local and regional economy and whilst this situation is not unique to our business, it is important that we put measures in place that will ensure the sustainability of the business in the short term in order to protect our long term future and be best placed to recover from this crisis in due course with the return of airline operations.”

In May, Manchester Airport’s holding group was handed a £260m loan from its 10 shareholder councils to help it survive the coronavirus lockdown.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport declined to comment on today’s announcement.

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