Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for South West England, said:
As the evidence for the acceleration of the climate emergency intensifies, it is absurd to suggest that we should provide further impetus to the aviation sector. Encouraging flight in this way is dangerous and irresponsible as climate change puts the lives of future generations at risk.
It is also illogical to determine the policy for an entire sector based on a failed airline. It appears suspiciously that the government is using Flybe’s bankruptcy as an excuse to maintain a manifest doubtful commitment to improving regional connectivity, conveniently accusing EU state aid rules.
This is misinformation because any socially necessary pathways could attract subsidies and be exempt from these rules.
Of course, it is always horrible to be waiting for layoffs. But the cold reality is that many jobs in aviation and other fossil fuel based industries are simply not sustainable. This is why we urgently need a green New Deal to train workers to transition to environmentally and socially beneficial jobs of the future.
Instead of using subsidies to artificially support a financially and environmentally unsustainable business, the government should transfer aviation subsidies to rail travel to increase and improve regional and local rail networks and reduce fares.