North East Fife MP Wendy Chamberlain and a cross-party group of 76 MPs and Peers have called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until March 2022, to protect jobs in the aviation, travel, and tourism sectors.
The call from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Future of Aviation, follows figures released by the Office for National Statistics that showed that 57% of passenger air transport employees remain on furlough alongside 51% for travel agency and tour operator activities.
In a joint letter to the UK Government, MPs and Peers warn that with a lost summer season coming on top of the worst fifteen months in the history of UK aviation, without the continuing support of the CJRS the risk of significant redundancies will become a stark and devastating reality.
The Lib Dem MP said: “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 across the tourism sector in Fife and the whole of the UK.
“The sudden withdrawal of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will come as a devastating blow to the industry and will inevitably lead to even further job losses. We need to support our local businesses that rely on inbound tourism, such as whisky producers and the many businesses that provide services for visiting golfers, which will not be able to fully recover until travel and tourism can return to normal levels.
“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 months ahead.”