SPAA Member Update

Mike Tibbert

As you know, throughout the past 2 years of the Covid-19 pandemic the SPAA has been continually active in engaging with the UK + Scottish Governments – fighting our Members’ and the wider travel sector’s case for balanced, coordinated policy on public health protection and targeted financial support. We’ve done so, not only via the strong media profile, trust and exposure we’ve worked so hard at – but also with patient, determined hard work, in the background and with little fanfare, but significant success. That quiet approach should never be construed as complacent, as this Update will hopefully demonstrate.


Our lobbying, consultation and meetings activity

Resulting from a number of letters to Scottish Ministers Kate Forbes (Finance) and Ivan McKee (Business), we have finally secured a meeting with Ivan on February 10th to discuss current issues including :

1/ Securing our share of support from funds granted by the Scottish Government to help businesses severely affected by restrictions at the end of 2021. We know the Minister is aware of the issues and we will be putting our case across strongly


2/ We have had a number of meetings with MSP’s since the beginning of 2022

and secured letters of support from MSP’s across the Parties at Holyrood


3/ We continue to work with the Scottish Government on their Aviation Group – where we have had some success with the easing of restrictions, and been able to lobby successfully for quicker alignment in a Four UK Nations approach.


On Thursday, at the Group’s bi-weekly meeting, we were able to discuss the great harm caused by the recent restrictions on our Members, with another Government official, and that has led to further engagement offline. (We were able to highlight again, the differences between inbound and outbound travel, and the value of outbound travel to the economy)


4/ We made a detailed Submission to the Scottish Government in response to their recent Consultation on a future Air Strategy. In the submission, we presented our thoughts on international and domestic air connectivity, and on the vital issue of carbon reduction


5/ We continue to work as Secretariat of Scotland’s Cross Party Aviation Group which presses Government to focus on the travel-related Covid-19 issues that still remain, and the need to create a coherent and comprehensive road-map to recovery, whilst also creating a framework for the longer-term.

Our work with colleague organisations

As a founder member of the Save Future Travel Coalition, we continue our work with ABTA and our other colleague organisations, lobbying and consulting at Westminster – with the UK Government and across the (political!) Parties. This is a prime example of the patient, ‘behind the scenes’ activity that’s needed – not only to secure financial support, but also to exert strong influence on the development and operation of longer-term UK policy on international travel and global cooperation.

As an active SPAA Member, your input is invaluable!

Many of you – travel heroes one and all – have stepped up for our rallies in Edinburgh, and many have engaged with your local MP’s, MSP’s and Local Authorities. That input on behalf of your businesses and colleagues has been invaluable in maintaining the pressure – so thank your for every email and letter, and please stay active when you can.


I know you and your colleagues will be ready for another full-on, active week, and rest assured – the SPAA team will continue to work away, energetically, on behalf of all of us! Keep well and #staysafe!

Mike Tibbert SPAA President