Commenting on reports that a split is developing between prime minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak on the easing of travel restrictions, Unite assistant general secretary for civil air transport, Diana Holland, said: 

“The current traffic light system is not working and there is disagreement within government about how to move forward. While the situation remains uncertain and complex, the government must provide job saving support to our aviation and travel industry. 

“Unite is advocating for a sliding scale of support based on the number of people travelling. This would allow employers to deploy staff flexibly depending on demand until the crisis is over. Crucially this would prevent more unnecessary redundancies.  

“Compared to countries like France and Germany, who put in place sector specific support that has allowed their aviation industries to weather the pandemic, the UK civil air transport sector has haemorrhaged jobs. 

“Unite has previously warned the sector has been losing staff at a rate of more than 5,000 a month. 

“With the summer season all but scuppered and travel not expected to return to sustainable levels for the immediate future, the government must follow the lead of our competitor nations and take action to secure jobs and make sure aviation can rebuild safely and sustainably for all our futures. 

“While restrictions persist, government must support jobs in aviation.” 


During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: [email protected]

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.