First Minister Arlene Foster, deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Unite the Union have called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to urgently establish an Aerospace Taskforce.
A letter signed jointly by Arlene Foster, Michelle O’Neill and Unite the Union along with the First Ministers for Scotland and Wales, called for urgent intervention to address the unprecedented impact of the pandemic on the sector.
First Minister Arlene Foster said: “The pandemic has understandably resulted in a drop in passenger numbers. This has had a devastating impact on the wider aerospace sector with grounded fleets leading to reduced demand for new aircraft, as well as maintenance and repair.
“The sector is crucial for Northern Ireland and everything possible must be done to ensure it receives maximum protection.
“Maintaining air connectivity is vital to our longer term economic recovery. We have written to the Prime Minister to underscore the importance of intervention and to urge him to establish an Aerospace Taskforce as a first step in addressing the impacts being felt by the sector at this time.”
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “Our local aerospace sector is hugely important, not just to the economy but to people’s lives and livelihoods.
“We have already seen job losses in this area and the immense pressure caused by the pandemic has the potential to have further devastating consequences.
“The Executive is committed to doing everything it can to protect the sector, but we need to see immediate intervention from the British Government. Boris Johnson has a responsibility to step up and provide the support that’s desperately needed to safeguard the future of this sector and its workers. Ministers have joined with Unite the Union calling on him to take urgent action to preserve capability and prevent further losses.”