Unite has called on the government to give more job support to the sector following intensifying pressure on government to ease travel rules.
The airline union wants a “sliding scale of support” for the aviation and travel sector to allow staff to be deployed flexibly until the pandemic is over, in a bid to avoid redundancies.
It made the comments after it was reported chancellor Rishi Sunak has written to prime minister Boris Johnson warning current travel restrictions were harming the economy, and tourism.
Meanwhile, industry leaders urged the government to add more countries to the green list and called for a change in testing rules for the rest of the peak summer season ahead of this Thursday’s traffic light list for international travel and fears of a new ‘amber watchlist’ category being introduced.
Unite’s 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 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.”
Unite has previously warned that the sector is losing staff at a rate of more than 5,000 a month and said the UK civil air transport sector has “haemorrhaged jobs” by not putting in place sector specific support as countries such as France and Germany have done.
Holland added: “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.”