Welcome increased JRS flexibility but need to extend beyond October

Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement of the changes to the Government’s Job Retention Scheme, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association Karen Dee said:

“The clarity on the next phase of the Job Retention Scheme is welcome and will help UK airports plan for their future operations.

“We are pleased that the Government has brought forward the option to furlough staff part-time. Airports have lost nearly all their revenue due to the lack of passenger flights, but they remain open for critical and lifeline services. The flexibility will be essential to keep airports open, protect their financial viability and assist them in protecting jobs for the time when air traffic returns to sustainable levels. It is needed more than ever, as passenger levels will remain near zero for some time as the result of the blanket quarantine that will come in on 8 June.

“The UK’s airports face a long and challenging road to recovery. Businesses in our sector have been some of the hardest hit by the crisis. The Government should extend support such as the Job Retention Scheme for sectors like ours beyond October, and taper this down in line with the recovery in aviation connectivity. Extending business rates relief to airports would be a further boost to get the sector through the quarantine period. Taken together, these measures will enable us to play our full and much-needed role in the UK’s economic recovery.”