Commenting on reports that popular European travel destinations will be added to a UK government ‘green list’ for holidaymakers by the end of June, Unite national officer for aviation Oliver Richardson said, “The fact that borders are set to reopen, and people will once more be able to venture abroad is positive news, both for the travelling public and those whose jobs are dependent on aviation taking off again.
“The last year has been catastrophic for the aviation industry and certainty and clarity from the government on the path to reopening is vital if recovery for the sector is to be sustained.
“With continuing restrictions, even a best-case 2021 summer season will not be enough to get the industry back into the air without targeted government support.
“When families face paying hundreds of pounds extra for Covid-tests to leave and re-enter the country, it is critical that ministers make sure holidaymakers are not priced out of travel abroad.
“Government must also provide as much advance notice as possible of what restrictions will and will not be in place.
“Decisions on reopening routes and schedules will simply not be possible unless airlines and airports are given an adequate timeframe to prepare. For our members on furlough desperate to return to work, certainty from the government is absolutely crucial.
“It is of the utmost importance that should restrictions on travel remain, the government extend the job retention scheme for the aviation sector beyond September to prevent thousands of job losses.
“Even with an increase in travel over the summer, the four months to September is too short a window to expect the industry to be by any measure back on its feet.”
Stay tuned to UNITElive for further developments
By Ryan Fletcher