More details have emerged over financial support for Birmingham Airport including a third emergency loan from a West Midlands council.
Walsall Council has agreed to supply the airport with a £4.9 million loan, adding to the £18.5 million and £3.7 million already announced by Birmingham and Solihull councils respectively.
In addition, Sandwell and Wolverhampton councils have confirmed they will not be offering loans to the airport but Dudley declined comment.
Coventry City Council said it was committed to helping the airport but would not confirm whether a loan was planned or not.
The seven councils of the West Midlands county own a 49 per cent stake in the airport, a further 48.25 per cent is owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the remaining 2.75 per cent belongs to an employee trust.
Like so many other transport hubs across the UK, Birmingham Airport has been massively impacted by the lockdown restrictions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Its volume of flights between April and December was down 91 per cent and just 31 flights touched down at the airport in the final week of January, compared with 740 at the same point in 2020.
Coventry City Council’s leader Cllr George Duggins said: “Despite the covid-19 pandemic, Birmingham Airport remains one of the most important economic drivers in our region and will play a crucial role in our region’s recovery.
“But like the aviation industry as a whole, the global coronavirus pandemic has hit the business hard and it is understandably facing unprecedented and difficult times.
“As one of the seven shareholders in the airport, which has brought us considerable financial dividends to support our services in recent years, we are committed to helping the airport to ensure it is ready to bounce back quickly and strongly when travel restrictions are eventually lifted and life returns to some sort of normality.
“However, if any such support was required, it would go through the council’s political process in the normal way.”
Birmingham Airport previously said: “The pandemic has led to Birmingham Airport’s most severe downturn in its history.
“To limit the impact of significantly reduced passenger numbers, there have been a range of measures the airport has taken to preserve cash and manage costs including limiting spending, suspending capital projects and maximising the use of the Job Retention Scheme.
“These actions have been designed to protect the airport’s long-term interests and ensure it is well placed to respond to the recovery when passengers resume flying again.
“Any support is very much welcomed as the airport deals with the ongoing impact of covid-19 and rebuilds post-pandemic to support the region’s economic recovery and air transportation needs.”