Support aviation jobs plea

Green light needed for aviation job support while travel restrictions continue

Reading time: 3 min

Unite has reiterated its call for a sector-specific support package for the aviation industry after reports of an apparent rift between chancellor Rishi Sunak and prime minister Boris Johnson over easing international travel restrictions.

In what seen as an extraordinary intervention, the chancellor wrote to the prime minister ahead of a crunch meeting last week, demanding that rules around quarantine are further eased.

At present, double-vaccinated people and their children do not have to quarantine on arrival from amber-list countries, but it is understood that travelers are being dissuaded from holidays abroad because of the uncertainty of restrictions, with France recently being added to the ‘amber-plus’ list which requires home quarantine for returning travelers.

In his letter to the prime minister, Sunak reportedly told Johnson that UK travel policy was  “out of step with our international competitors”.

Commenting, Unite assistant general secretary for civil air transport, Diana Holland, said, “The current traffic light system is not working and there is disagreement within government about how to move forward. While the situation remains uncertain and complex, the government must provide job saving support to our aviation and travel industry. 

“Unite is advocating for a sliding scale of support based on the number of people travelling,” she added. “This would allow employers to deploy staff flexibly depending on demand until the crisis is over. Crucially this would prevent more unnecessary redundancies.  

“Compared to countries like France and Germany, who put in place sector specific support that has allowed their aviation industries to weather the pandemic, the UK civil air transport sector has haemorrhaged jobs,” she continued.

“Unite has previously warned the sector has been losing staff at a rate of more than 5,000 a month. 

“With the summer season all but scuppered and travel not expected to return to sustainable levels for the immediate future, the government must follow the lead of our competitor nations and take action to secure jobs and make sure aviation can rebuild safely and sustainably for all our futures,” Holland went on to say.

“While restrictions persist, government must support jobs in aviation.”

Find out more about Unite’s aviation campaign in the video below:

By Hajera Blagg

Related Articles