A new report has warned that the aviation sector could lose up to 124,000 jobs unless the government intervenes.
In line with the current job retention scheme, a bailout for staff is needed as at least 70,000 jobs are at risk within the sector and their supply chains within three months.
According to analysis from the New Economics Foundation (NEF), the TUC, aviation unions and climate action charity Possible, the figure is on par with what the coal industry saw with huge job losses in 1980-81.
The report warns that an immediate 39,000 jobs are at risk out of the 70,000, whilst the remining number will most likely see huge losses in the supply chain.
Alex Chapman, of the New Economics Foundation, said: “The aviation industry faces job losses on a par with the worst years of the UK coal industry decline in the 1980s.
“We must take lessons from that period, and the financial crisis in 07/08 and do a better job of protecting the wellbeing of workers and communities.
“There are rock solid social and economic reasons for preventing the spike in unemployment which is being threatened by aviation bosses, and instead investing heavily in retraining and upskilling aviation workers to prepare them for a new normal, and the rapid decarbonisation of the UK economy.”
Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC said, “Aviation is a critical part of our economic infrastructure and it supports tens of thousands of good jobs.
“The sector has already been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and the implementation of the quarantine period is a further blow.
“We cannot consign these workers to the despair of unemployment.
“Aviation needs immediate support and not just to protect the incomes of billionaire airline owners.
“Government must act now to protect workers’ jobs and livelihoods, to support the longer-term viability of the sector and to facilitate a just transition to lower-carbon operations.”