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West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has backed calls from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Future of Aviation for the UK government to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until March 2022 to protect jobs in the aviation, travel, and tourism sectors.

The call follows figures released by the Office for National Statistics which showed that 57% of passenger air transport employees remain on furlough alongside 51% for travel agency and tour operator activities.

The letter warns that with a lost summer season coming on top of the worst fifteen months in the history of UK aviation, that without the continuing support of the Job Retention Scheme the risk of significant redundancies will become a stark and devastating reality.

Local SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has joined a cross-party group of 76 parliamentarians urging the UK Chancellor to not only extend the furlough scheme but to work with industry to provide further much needed financial support whilst they remain under significant restrictions.

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“The aviation, travel and tourism industries have been amongst the worst affected by the pandemic with passenger numbers falling to historically low levels leading to devastating impacts which are being felt throughout the country.

“One third of jobs at Glasgow Airport have already been lost, and a number of my constituents here in West Dunbartonshire whose employment depends on the airport and aviation sector face a worrying future.

“The UK government’s removal of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would come as a devastating blow and will inevitably lead to further job losses.

“The aviation, travel and tourism industry will not be able to recover with the current restrictions in place and as such the UK government must protect these jobs to avoid considerable job losses in Scotland and across the UK.

“I urge Chancellor Rishi Sunak to listen to this cross-party call and continue to protect aviation, travel and tourism jobs and to support these industries through the challenging weeks and months ahead.”

A copy of the cross-party letter sent to UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is available here.

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