MP calls for furlough extension to protect aviation, travel, and tourism jobs

East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald has joined cross-party calls for the UK Government to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until March 2022 to protect jobs in the aviation, travel, and tourism sectors.

57% of passenger air transport employees remain on furlough

The cross-party call was organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Future of Aviation.

The group wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer following the release of figures by the Office for National Statistics that show 57 per cent of passenger air transport employees remain on furlough alongside 51 per cent for travel agency and tour operator activities.

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The letter warns that with a lost summer season coming on top of the worst 15 months in the history of UK aviation, the risk of significant redundancies will become a “stark and devastating” reality.

In total, 77 parliamentarians endorsed the letter urging the Chancellor to not only extend the furlough scheme but to work with industry to provide further much needed financial support whilst these industries remain under significant restrictions.

Ms Oswald said: “With significant restrictions on travel still in place across the globe the removal of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would come as a devastating blow to these industries and would undoubtedly lead to considerable job losses.

“The aviation, travel and tourism industries will not be able to recover with the restrictions currently in place and the Government must continue to protect these jobs to avoid further and considerable job losses and business closures.

“I urge the Chancellor to listen to this cross-party call and continue to protect aviation, travel and tourism jobs and to support these industries through the challenging weeks and months ahead.”