Fighting for the future of the aviation sector
The PHA Group was enlisted by a consortium of five UK-based airlines at the start of 2021 – when the negative impact of the Brexit deal on their businesses was becoming apparent. The aviation firms wanted to highlight the significant challenges they faced following the UK’s departure from the EU to public and political stakeholders.
We worked alongside the Chief Executives and Managing Directors at the airlines to devise a hybrid public relations and public affairs strategy. The goal was to ensure that decision-makers in Whitehall ‘sat up and took notice’ of the problems the Brexit deal has caused to UK freight, charter, and cargo airlines – and to lobby for change.
We drafted messaging for both media and political audiences which focused on the difficulties faced by the airlines. Because of the sensitive relationships between the group and with the government, it was important to ensure that the tone remained politically neutral. During a two month period of outreach, this resulted in print coverage for the group in The Guardian, The Mail on Sunday, Politico Europe, and the Financial Times as well as broadcast appearances on Sky News and BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.
Alongside the high-level media coverage, we facilitated political briefings with Parliamentarians. We helped to instigate conversations with Opposition transport spokespeople, former transport ministers – plus backbenchers with a strong interest in aviation policy. Our media and political activity resulted in the Department of Transport setting up a working group to investigate the issues.