Government rejects petition to extend furlough scheme for aviation

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By Linsey McNeill
Home » Government rejects petition to extend furlough scheme for aviation

A petition to extend the furlough scheme for airlines beyond September has been dismissed by the Government.

The petition, launched last December, attracted just 16,212 of the 100,000 signatures needed for a parliamentary debate.

In response, the Government said the current Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ‘strikes a balance between encouraging employees back to work, supporting the economy and protecting incomes’.

It pointed out that the aviation and aerospace sectors are being supported with over £11 billion made available through loan guarantees, support for exporters, the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) and grants for research and development.

Also, it claimed that removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals from amber countries to self-isolate and take a test on day 8 was ‘a vital step in enabling the recovery of travel operators and those whose jobs rely on the travel industry’.

It added: “Industry bodies, media and airline groups have responded positively to this announcement, with many travel operators adding additional flights and holidays to new destinations.”

However, the Government has since re-introduced the self-isolation rule for travellers returning from France and operators were forced to cancel flights to Bulgaria after it banned British holidaymakers the day it was added to the UK’s green list.

The Government added: “The CJRS was designed as a temporary, economy-wide measure to support businesses while widespread restrictions were in place.

“It is right that we ask employers across the economy to contribute more as Covid-19 related restrictions are lifted, in order to strike a balance between encouraging employers to bring employees back to work and continuing to support the economy and protect incomes.

“Of course, the Government has shown throughout the pandemic that it is prepared to adapt support if the path of the virus changes. We continue to engage closely with sectors across the economy, including the travel industry, to understand their recovery horizons as the vaccine is rolled out and restrictions ease.”

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