More than 5,000 jobs in aviation and related industries are being lost every month, new research commissioned by the Unite union has revealed.
The study Acuity Analysis for Unite estimates 5,164 UK aviation and related jobs have been list ever month since February 2020.
According to the data, the total runs to just shy of 62,000 to date – twice as many as have been lost across equivalent sectors in France and Germany.
Additionally, Unite estimates the French and German governments have provided more than double the financial support for each aviation and aerospace job compared to the UK.
Unite wants chancellor Rishi Sunak to honour his commitment, made a year ago almost to the day, to provide a bespoke package of support for the UK’s aviation sector.
"The shock to aviation will be felt further in local communities as every single aviation job supports 1.3 in the wider economy, including in hospitality and retail," said Unite.
The union said the "limited scope" of the UK government’s support for the sector, and qualifying conditions, had put it out of reach of many businesses.
It also stressed that as the downturn in passenger numbers owed to government-imposed travel restrictions, it was incumbent on government to play "a leading role" in both the sector’s recovery and efforts to rebuild consumer confidence.
Unite also wants the country’s vaccination programme to prioritise transport workers, including those in passenger-facing roles, once priority age and high-risk groups are vaccinated.
"A staggering number of workers in the sector are now unemployed," said Unite assistant general secretary for transport Diana Holland.
"But when we look across the Channel, we see a different approach from governments actually saves these jobs.
"All we are asking is that the government keeps to its promise. It has been a year since the chancellor promised a support package for UK aviation. This may now be ’the final call’ for that support. Without it, this industry will not recover at the speed, or the scale, of our competitors.
"This is also the time to invest in our air industry so that it is more resilient, able to weather future crises, and that it emerges from this crisis as a more climate-friendly mode of travel."
Oliver Richardson, Unite officer for civil aviation, added: "This research confirms what we’ve been saying to the government for the past year; the sector needs targeted, intelligent support if we are to maintain this vital strategic infrastructure.
"Shedding jobs on this scale is not just a massive shock to the airport and aviation sector; the effects will be seen in high streets across the country as retail and hospitality suffer the knock-on effects of a shrunken industry.
"It is impossible to explain to aviation workers why the governments of France and Germany have moved to protect their jobs, but the UK government has not. But it is not too late. The UK government should step forward now with the package of measures that can kick-start an aviation recovery and benefit the wider economy."
Unite said support should include targeted payroll support, conditional government loans, grants, and requirements to maintain and expand Public Service Obligation routes to ensure regional connectivity.