March 16, 2020 / 7:33 AM / 15 days ago

UK to discuss support for aviation industry - minister

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps arrives at Downing Street in London, Britain, February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government will discuss later on Monday how to help its aviation industry after major airlines including Virgin Atlantic and easyJet said the state would need to step in to prevent it collapsing over coronavirus.

Transport minister Grant Shapps said the government understood it was dealing with a crisis like never before.

“We know that aviation of course is at the forefront in many ways because the first thing that stops is travel internationally,” he told Sky News.

“We want to make sure that companies ... who are in a good state are able to continue. I’ll be discussing them with the chancellor and the prime minister later today and those discussions with the sector are ongoing.”

Reporting by Kate Holton and Michael Holden; editing by Sarah Young

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