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Dear chancellor,

 

We are writing to you as a group of cross-party MPs and peers to urge you to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for workers in the aviation, travel and tourism industries until March 2022 in order to prevent significant job losses when the scheme is due to close in September.

 

As you will know, our aviation, travel and tourism sectors were the first to be impacted as a consequence of Covid-19, with passenger numbers collapsing from March 2020 and with recovery likely to take a number of years, these will also be one of the last sectors to recover.

 

The consequences on our aviation, travel and tourism sectors have been devastating, with businesses seeing little or no revenue for over fifteen months, significant job losses and the risk of business failure remaining a real risk.

 

However, with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme due to close in September, we run the very real risk of a major jobs crisis in the industry. The latest ONS statistics show that 57% of employees in passenger air transport and 51% of those employed by travel agency and tour operators remain on furlough.

 

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 CJRS the risk of significant redundancies will become a stark and devastating reality.

 

Throughout the pandemic, the increase in unemployment in airport constituencies has been consistently higher than the national average putting strain on local economies. But we must not forget that our aviation, travel and tourism industries are major economic enablers locally, regionally and nationally and that a failure to protect jobs will impact our national recovery.

 

We must express the urgency and the importance of extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, without which we will see further job losses and business failure. As one of the few sectors remaining under significant restrictions the case for further support is irrefutable and we urge you to not only extend the scheme but to work with industry to provide further much needed financial support.

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