UK pilots union sends out a ‘mayday’ distress call amidst tsunami of job cuts.

(Photo: Key Archive)

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has issued a ‘Mayday’ distress call for the aviation industry as Ryanair becomes the latest airline to announce potential job cuts and predictions of more to come.
The announcement that 3,000 jobs are on the line at Ryanair comes just days after British Airways announced it is also planning 12,000 redundancies.
BALPA says enforced travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus are having a devastating impact on aviation and it is an emergency the Government can no longer ignore.
It said that before COVID-19 hit the UK, aviation brought at least £22 billion to the country’s economy, along with over 230,000 jobs, adding: “Airlines contribute enormously to the vibrancy of the UK economy bringing a direct contribution to GDP of £5.2 billion and an overall contribution of £10.9 billion, when the effects of the supply chain and workforce are added.
“BALPA is calling for the Government to deliver its package of support to help our airlines though this crisis and protect the multitude of other industries that are indirectly reliant on aviation.
“The Government must recognise that global trade and economic recovery will be severely impacted if our world leading aviation industry is allowed to falter, while its competitors are propped up by their governments.
The union’s general secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “Before coronavirus the UK aviation industry was world leading. But now aviation workers are facing a Tsunami of job losses.
“There is no more time for delay. The UK Government should follow the example set by others in Europe and around the world, recognise that aviation is vital to the UK economy and keep to the promise made by the Chancellor on March 17 to help airlines.
“Without swift action, UK aviation will fall behind our global competitors and it simply won’t be there to aid recovery when the demand returns.
“Aviation will suffer, and so too will the industries that rely on aviation indirectly and our ability to trade on a global scale. That can only be bad for the UK economy.
“Around the world we are seeing other governments back their airlines and this will distort the global market place and leave the UK floundering.
“The Government should step in to preserve the future of our national airline industry and work with unions and airlines to prevent the loss of the tens of thousands of jobs that are on the line.
“With full Brexit looming at the end of this year it would be a disaster.”