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Airlines make plea to Chancellor Rishi Sunak over funding support

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is being urged by UK airline companies to fund new “targeted economic support measures” to safeguard thousands of industry jobs following the travel list update.

Airlines UK members including Ryanair, Jet2, easyJet, TUI, BA and Virgin Atlantic say the debts they have taken on during the pandemic are “not sustainable much longer”.

Bosses warn that more jobs “will be at risk without government action to reopen travel or provide additional support”.

It comes after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps last week announced Portugal – one of the only major viable destinations on the original green travel list – was being removed and place on the amber list.

This means all holidaymakers arriving back into the UK must take two Covid-19 tests and quarantine for 10 days.

More countries have also been moved from amber to red red which requires hotel quarantine, including Egypt, Sri Lanka and Costa Rica.

In a letter to Mr Sunak, chief executive of Airlines UK Tim Alderslade said their members are entering “the vital summer season still unable to trade” due to the government travel restrictions..

Alderslade explains in the letter that the UK travel sector “has been hit particularly hard” with output down 90 per cent, according to recent ONS data, against a 9.9 per cent hit to the wider economy.

He added: “UK airlines alone have announced over 30,000 job cuts, alongside pre-tax losses running into billions.”

TravelWeekly reports that the letter tells the Chancellor: “The Global Travel Taskforce promised a restart to international travel from May 17.

“However, despite evidence that supports an expansive green list being in place, no markets of any meaningful size are on the green list, with the removal of Portugal likely to destabilise the sector further and undermine consumer sentiment.

“The government continues to advise against all travel to amber countries –…

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