The government is not planning to extend the furlough scheme beyond October to companies in the travel sector.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he would not extend the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme to specifically cover travel employees who cannot return to work after the scheme ends in October, during an interview with BBC Breakfast on Friday (7 August).
The travel industry has made a plea for specific support because it has been one of the hardest hit by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
The chancellor’s comments about the furlough scheme came as a disappointment to leading figures in the travel industry.
Chris Wright, Sunvil’s managing director, said in a tweet: “A furlough scheme that wasn’t much use to travel when front line staff were needed to process changes and refunds. Now when it is needed, they are taking it away.
“Travel - first to feel the impact, likely to be the last to recover. Sector specific support needed.”
While Derek Jones, chief executive of Kuoni’s parent company Der Touristik UK, added in tweet: “Disappointing but not unexpected... by not providing additional support Rishi Sunak is writing off the jobs of tens of thousands of travel industry sector workers.
"These are people I know. They are passionate, hard-working professionals who deserve much better than this.”
Earlier this week, Phil Nuttall, owner of Travel Village in Blackpool, called for an extended furlough period for the travel industry until January.
“We should be able to have all of our administration and finance people on furlough from 1 September to 31 January to keep this industry going through the winter because it’s going to be really tough for people,” suggested Nuttall during TTG’s latest Face To Face interview on Tuesday (4 August).
“We’re not out of the woods and the industry has got a lot of pain to come.”