Crawley MP leads calls for the Government to extend Furlough scheme to protect jobs in the aviation, travel and tourism sectors

Henry Smith MP is leading calls for the Government to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until March 2022 to protect jobs in the aviation, travel and tourism sectors.

The Crawley MP, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Future of Aviation, organised an open letter to warn that with a lost summer season coming on top of the worst 15 months in the history of UK aviation, without the continuing support of the furlough scheme the risk of significant redundancies will become a stark and devastating reality.

The letter is signed by a total of 77 parliamentarians urging the Chancellor of the Exchequer to not only extend the furlough scheme but to work with industry to provide further much needed financial support whilst they remain under significant restrictions.

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Crawley MP Henry Smith

The call follows figures released by the Office for National Statistics which showed that 57 per cent of passenger air transport employees remain on furlough alongside 51 per cent for travel agency and tour operator activities.

Henry said: “I’m pleased to receive the support of 76 MPs and Peers in urging the Government to extend the furlough scheme for the aviation, travel and tourism sectors until March 2022.

“Since last March, our aviation, travel and tourism industries have been amongst the worst affected by the pandemic with passenger numbers falling to historically low levels leading to devastating impacts which are being felt throughout the UK.

“With significant restrictions still in place the removal of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would come as a devastating blow to an industry that has borne the brunt of the pandemic and will inevitably lead to considerable job losses.

“The aviation, travel and tourism industry will not be able to recover with the current restrictions in place and as such the Government must protect these jobs to avoid further and considerable job losses throughout the UK.

“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.”