Blackpool MP urges support for beleaguered travel sector

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard has joined calls for the Government to support the long-term future of UK airlines and their staff.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 4:55 am

Mr Maynard met air crew members as part of a travel industry demonstration in Westminster over the restrictions imposed under coronavirus measures and made clear his view that the sector needs help now to ensure it is positioned to support local and national economic recovery.

He called on the Government to give airlines the certainty they need amid growing anger and impatience over testing and isolation policy.

Mr Maynard made clear a firm plan was needed not only to support airlines and their staff but those whose incomes rely on the travel sector, including taxi operators and school travel firms, who he has been supporting during the pandemic.

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Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard talks to members of the travel industry at Westminster as a protest over the Government's traffic light travel system takes place
Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard talks to members of the travel industry at Westminster as a protest over the Government's traffic light travel system takes place

He said: “In my constituency, not only are there many people employed in travel agents, but taxi and chauffeur services who rely on airport runs, airline cabin crew, pilots in training, and the largest educational travel provider in the country.

"All are suffering. As the former aviation minister up until just before the pandemic began, I know how crucial they are to the economy, and to our recovery from Covid.

“It's not just about restarting holidays, it’s about the jobs both locally in this area, but the wider economy.

“The sector needs predictability rather than the stop/start situation we have now.

“And if they can’t operate for reasons of public health, which might be the case, they need the support from government to get through to the other side.”

Travel industry body Abta estimates that 195,000 travel jobs have been lost during the coronavirus pandemic or are at risk.

It said ministers were failing to deliver a restart to travel, by “undermining” the traffic light system, with no viable major tourist destinations on the quarantine-free green list, and the Government urging people to avoid holidays to locations on the amber list.

Abta wants to remove testing and quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers on green and amber location flights, plus financial support for struggling companies.

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