Brokers have 30 days to negotiate adequate third-party cover for aircraft.

Insurance underwriters recently limited third-party cover to $50m (£34m) per aircraft, following the terrorist attacks in the US.

Aircraft must have $700m (£476m) of third-party cover in order to be legally allowed to fly, so the government has struck a deal with airlines and agreed to pay the cost of maintaining airlines' insurance cover for 30 days to prevent a threatened grounding of passenger aircraft.

This will ensure airlines have enough third-party cover to ensure they do not breach aircraft leasing regulations.

A spokesman for Willis said it had been in negotiations with insurers: “We are confident there will be cover in place by the end of the 30-day period.”

  • Newcastle-based Gill Airways has ceased operations because insurance premiums have risen steeply since the attacks in the US.

    The company has 240 employees and flew to Paris and the Channel Islands.

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