More than 70 MPs and peers have joined forces to urge Rishi Sunak to extend the furlough scheme for the travel industry.
In a letter to the Chancellor, the group of 77 warned that the industry is facing a ‘cliff edge’ at the end of September when the salary support will end but travel restrictions will remain.
They wrote that the case for extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until March 2022 was ‘irrefutable’.
The furlough scheme is gradually being phased out, with employers expected to contribute increasing percentages to staff salaries until September when it is due to end.
MPs and peers, including Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey, and former Conservative ministers Steve Baker and Esther McVey, warned this will lead to ‘significant’ redundancies in the travel industry.
They wrote: “With a lost summer season coming on top of the worst fifteen months in the history of UK aviation, without continuing support though the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the risk of significant redundancies will become a stark and devastating reality.
“We urge you to not only extend the scheme but to work with the industry to provide further much needed financial support. Testing and self-isolating rules for Britons and foreign visitors entering the UK are likely to continue for some time.”
The letter was arranged by Tory MP Henry Smith, Chairman of the all-party Future of Aviation group. He said the recovery of the industry is ‘being held back by the UK’s approach to international travel and as such they have an obligation to, and must, protect these jobs until restrictions are removed’.