DWF logo

Search

DWF logo

            Press Release: Pandemic-travel lockdown

            Date: 19/03/2020

            In the second phase of the UK's management of the Covid-19 pandemic, Covid-19 continues to demand global businesses' attention and now takes first place on the Government's agenda. Worldwide border restrictions, European cities on lockdown and mechanisms that promote 'social distancing' become the new normal. It is estimated that 80,000 EU citizens are currently stranded around the world, waiting to get back to the EU amid the pandemic-travel lockdown. At the time of writing, the Foreign Office warned against all, but essential travel and the UK has yet to impose a travel ban.

            With this as a backdrop, the Government is working with the travel industry to ensure that British nationals can get back to the UK. On the 18 March, the Transport Secretary and the airline industry-aligned and demonstrated their commitment to helping UK nationals return through commercial means, rather than resorting to state-led repatriation. Covid-19 has already shown itself as an enemy to international travel. Yet, the Department for Transport and the Treasury demonstrate an appetite to support the aviation industry and help it manage Covid-19's impact. The aviation industry awaits sight of the Government's imminent proposal in anticipation.

            As airline activity continues to be stifled, a concern for airline lessees is state-imposed Covid-19 flight restrictions and the significant decrease in passenger demand. As a Covid-19 consequence, lessees may seek relief of their rental, or payment obligations, due to flight restrictions or the inability to perform lessees' operations. Further, the lessee may claim a 'force majeure event' allows the suspension of payment, or performance, under the lease. In response, the lessor should ensure payment obligations are absolute and carved out from force majeure provisions. In turn, lessors should be minded to 'hell or high water' clauses that generally cover absolute and unconditional contractual obligations placed on a party. Whether such contractual mechanisms can be invoked will depend on the parties' individual circumstances.

            Related people

            Jonathan Moss

            • Partner // Global Head of Transport Sector // Head of Marine & Trade

            We use cookies to give you the best user experience on our website. Please let us know if you accept our use of cookies.

            Learn More

            Your Privacy

            When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. We mainly use this information to ensure the site works as you expect it to, and to learn how we can improve the experience in the future. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.
            Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change permissions. However, blocking some types of cookies may prevent certain site functionality from working as expected

            Functional cookies

            (Required)

            These cookies let you use the website and are required for the website to function as expected.

            These cookies are required

            Tracking cookies

            Anonymous cookies that help us understand the performance of our website and how we can improve the website experience for our users. Some of these may be set by third parties we trust, such as Google Analytics.

            They may also be used to personalise your experience on our website by remembering your preferences and settings.

            Marketing cookies

            These cookies are used to improve and personalise your experience with our brands. We may use these cookies to show adverts for our products, or measure the performance of our adverts.