In the current crisis, the government’s key focus is locking down the country.
To facilitate this, they have generously introduced a short period, where non-essential staff can be “furloughed” and paid 80% of their salaries. However, don’t expect such a generous scheme to be in place for long; businesses should be planning on their staff rejoining the payroll or being laid off before we exit the full impact of the coronavirus.
The government’s next focus will be avoiding large-scale job losses. Large travel firms such as airlines, who employ a lot of staff in the UK and have strategic benefits, may receive further emergency support to stave off collapse. But even this may come at the cost of giving the government substantial equity stakes.
Small and medium-sized business can apply for the government-backed loan scheme, but again, these loans are by no means free and although every qualifying business should take them to improve liquidity, they should be spent with extreme caution as they are not free and will have to be repaid.
These travel companies can only survive this crisis by cutting overheads as close to nil as possible. If you have no income, you cannot have any overheads.
Although it is emotionally difficult, staff have to be furloughed, and that means everyone who is not absolutely necessary needs to be sent home. Businesses can only afford to pay the 80% of salary that is going to be paid by the government and most staff won’t expect more, so don’t pay it.