Let us fly again! Furious pilots and cabin crews march on Westminster

Let us fly again! Furious pilots and cabin crews march on Westminster to demand ministers reopen our skies fully to save the travel industry

  • Travel industry workers called on PM to expand the quarantine-free green list
  • Around 400 protesters gathered outside the Commons on Travel Day of Action
  • Senior Conservative MPs, including Sir Iain Duncan-Smith, joined the protesters

Hundreds of travel workers including pilots and business owners marched on Westminster yesterday to demand that ministers ease restrictions threatening the industry. 

They called on the Prime Minister to expand the quarantine-free travel green list at today’s review and make it easier for fully-vaccinated Britons to go on holiday. 

They warned huge numbers of jobs are at risk and called for the furlough scheme to be extended beyond September if current restrictions continue. 

Pilots and cabin crew who have been grounded for over a year were joined by travel business owners who told of being on the brink. 

Around 400 protesters gathered outside the Commons as part of a Travel Day Of Action. 

Hundreds of travel workers including pilots and business owners marched on Westminster yesterday to demand that ministers ease restrictions threatening the industry

Travel industry workers warned huge numbers of jobs are at risk and called for the furlough scheme to be extended beyond September if current restrictions continue 

Demonstrations were also held outside Holyrood and Stormont to lobby the Scottish and Northern Ireland governments and at airports including Bristol and Manchester.

Senior Tory MPs joined the Westminster protest, including Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Sir Graham Brady, former minister Steve Baker and transport committee chairman Huw Merriman, who called on ministers to use the success of the being shut down to the extent it is now, we would take that on the chin, but there just doesn’t seem to be.

Richard Mann, 56, a pilot for travel giant Tui, said it was the biggest crisis the aviation industry had ever faced, stressing: ‘Everyone’s worried for their livelihoods.

‘If there was a clear reason for travel being shut down to the extent it is now, we would take that on the chin, but there just doesn’t seem to be. 

‘Infection rates in the Balearic Islands and others are lower than we have here, so why are they shut off? 

‘You see thousands packing themselves on to Bournemouth beach. Is that keeping people safe? It doesn’t make sense.’ 

Pilots and cabin crew who have been grounded for over a year were joined by travel business owners who told of being on the brink 

Demonstrations were also held outside Holyrood and Stormont to lobby the Scottish and Northern Ireland governments and at airports including Bristol and Manchester (pictured, protesters in London)

Mark Tanzer, of travel industry group Abta, said some members had been forced to take new jobs as call centre workers and Amazon delivery drivers to make ends meet, adding: ‘It’s really heart-breaking.’ 

Sir Graham said ministers must ensure a ‘viable summer season’ is salvaged. 

He insisted: ‘There are over one million jobs at stake – as well as people’s freedom to see their family overseas or to go on holiday.’ 

Mr Merriman warned: ‘The sector is haemorrhaging jobs.’

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