Mr Heapy told trade publication Travel Weekly: “Government ministers need to realise that, because of the pandemic and the actions that were taken, they’ve made the travel industry not a very attractive one to work in. It was the first industry to go into lockdown and the last industry to come out. It’s because of those actions that it’s no longer got the attraction that it used to have.
“I think that’s a problem that the Government needs to get involved in solving. It must help the industry get back on its feet and improve the perception because lots of people left the industry and didn’t come back.
“We got some support during the pandemic, but not as much as the industry asked for. The Government should be working with us to help the industry recover by giving us confidence that we’re not going back into lockdown.”
Jonathan Hinkles, chief executive of regional airline Loganair, attacked earlier remarks by Lord Robertson who criticised aviation leaders for hours-long queues snaking out of terminal buildings and hundreds of cancelled flights.
“Six months ago we were still in the throes of Omicron travel restrictions and a terrible winter for the entire aviation industry, not least because furlough support had ended two months before. Many companies couldn’t, in all good faith, recruit team members without knowing for sure that the jobs of those they had could be safeguarded.
“The issues we have as an industry require a concerted and collected effort across airlines, airports and Government to fix them.”