March 18, 2020 / 2:32 PM / 22 days ago

UK transport minister discusses coronavirus support with airports, airlines

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps is seen outside Downing Street, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s transport minister Grant Shapps spoke to major airports and airlines on Wednesday about how the government could support the industry from the impact of coronavirus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said.

On Tuesday, airlines demanded urgent tax relief to avoid multiple bankruptcies as coronavirus disruption continued its spread across the global industry.

“The transport secretary had two calls with the airline industry and airports respectively to better understand the impact of coronavirus on their businesses and to discuss how the government can support the industry,” the spokesman said.

One call was with representatives of Britain’s four main airports and the other with “major airlines”, he added.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Michael Holden

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