The government has rejected a plea for furlough to be extended for those working in the aviation sector, despite thousands backing the call.
James Brown’s petition was signed by more than 16,000 people, and stressed the delta variant would likely further delay a resumption of international travel.
"Travel is always going to be the last thing to be released," said Brown. "We need aviation to survive, please help us keep our industry alive."
Petitions lodged via the official UK Parliament petitions portal require a written response from government if they receive more than 10,000 signatures.
And in a written response, the Treasury – while acknowledging the challenges the sector owing to Covid-19 – said it felt its current approach to the furlough scheme "struck a balance between encouraging employees back to work, supporting the economy and protecting incomes".
The response highlighted what the Treasury described as an "unprecedented package of measures" to support firms, including schemes to raise cash and flexibility with regards to tax bills.
Additionally, it said it had made £11 billion available to the sector through loan guarantees, the Covid Corporate Financing Facility and grants for research and development.
Last week, a cross-party group of more than 70 parliamentarians called for an extension of the furlough scheme for those working in travel, tourism and aviation.
The furlough scheme has started to wind down this month, with employers now due to pay more towards staff retention; it will wind down completely from the start of October.
The Treasury said it could, however, change course if there was cause to do so. "The CJRS [Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme] was designed as a temporary, economy-wide measure to support businesses while widespread restrictions were in place," said the Treasury.
"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."
On the current travel landscape, the Treasury added the government had taken steps to reopen the UK’s travel sector.
"The Global Travel Taskforce (GTT) report sets out a clear framework for the government’s objective of enabling a safe, sustainable and robust return to international travel, which is key to enabling the sector’s recovery," said the Treasury.
"In line with this framework, travel measures are continuing to be reviewed through a series of checkpoints, considering the latest domestic and international data.
"Following the recent checkpoint review of the GTT, arrivals into England from amber list countries who have been fully vaccinated by an NHS administered vaccine will soon be exempt from self-isolation and day eight testing requirements.
"These changes are a vital step in enabling the recovery of travel operators and those whose jobs rely on the travel industry. Industry bodies, media and airline groups have responded positively to this announcement, with many travel operators adding additional flights and holidays to new destinations."