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Union calls for support for UK travel industry

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TTSA) has demanded that the government provide a “bespoke support package” to save jobs in the travel industry.

The union, which represents staff in the travel industry, has written to transport secretary Grant Shapps asking for support beyond the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme for the UK travel trade.

It warned that without government support the industry could collapse, pushing thousands into unemployment.

The move comes after the government imposed a 14-day quarantine on people arriving in the UK from Spain.

Shapps, ironically, flew to Spain for a family holiday on Saturday, hours before the quarantine rule was announced. He’s since stated that he will return to the UK earlier than planned, quarantine as required, then return to work.

Manuel Cortes, TSSA general secretary, said: “With the prime minister urging people to go back in to work from 1st August, British workers who’ve booked trips to Spain will have to choose between cancelling their holidays or taking unpaid leave in order to comply with quarantine rules.

“Inevitably many Brits will cancel their holidays rather than lose two weeks’ wages. Many more will decide not to book a holiday overseas for fear that they too will face the stress of last-minute cancellations.

“It is now more urgent than ever that the government act to save our travel trade industry. We need a bespoke solution that extends beyond the end of the current jobs retention scheme. Without government support there is a very real risk that the UK travel industry will collapse and thousands of people will lose their jobs.

“It is essential that Grant Shapps shows that he learned the lessons from the collapse of Thomas Cook on the last Tory government’s watch – inactivity is simply unacceptable.”

The travel industry has already seen several travel firms go bust with many others struggling to survive.

Specialist Leisure Group, which owns coach company Shearings, collapsed into administration in May.

Fleetway Travel and its affiliate, Fleetway Aviation fell into administration on 13 July, while Cruise and Maritime Voyages went to the wall last week.