James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
More than 100 Jet2 pilots to be made redundant
15 August 2020, 13:18
More than 100 pilots are to be made redundant at Jet2 after the airline rejected alternative proposals, a union has said.
In June, the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) union said the Leeds-based carrier was proposing cutting 102 pilot jobs after flights were grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On Saturday, the union said Jet2 was pressing ahead with the cuts despite a range of alternative options put forward by Balpa.
Several other airlines have announced job cuts after a collapse in demand caused by the pandemic, including British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair.
Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: "This announcement is yet another which shows the desperate state of the British aviation sector.
"Despite enormous efforts to work with Jet2 to find ways of saving these jobs, the airline is insisting on 102 redundancies.
"This will be a particular kick in the teeth as many of those who may lose their jobs have recently joined the airline after having been dismissed from Thomas Cook which went into administration last year."
Mr Strutton called for support for the industry which has also been affected by the implementation of quarantines on travellers from various holiday destinations.
He said: "The Government has a significant role to play in supporting the vital British aviation industry. Its quarantine changes keep throwing every restart plan into chaos.
"If these quarantines are really needed, the Government must stump up the support to help the airline industry which is doing its best to get back on track but keeps being knocked back at every juncture."
It comes amid the news that tens of thousands of UK tourists in France have made it home before the imposition of quarantine restrictions at 4am this morning.
Tickets for planes, trains and ferries were snapped up by travellers at increased prices as they attempted to beat the deadline.
The dash to get home was prompted by the decision to impose a 14-day self-isolation quarantine on travellers from France due to rising numbers of coronavirus cases in the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insisted the Government had taken "a practical approach" to the new restrictions.
The quarantine conditions also apply to travellers returning to or visiting the UK from the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks & Caicos and Aruba.
Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, the train service which carries vehicles through the Channel Tunnel, was fully booked on Friday.
A spokesman said 12,000 people tried to book tickets in the hour after the new rules were announced at about 10pm on Thursday, compared with just hundreds normally.
Some air fares were more than six times more expensive than normal.
British Airways was selling tickets for a flight from Paris to London Heathrow on Friday night costing £452.
The same journey on Saturday could be made with the airline for just £66.
The cheapest ticket on a Eurostar train from Paris to London was £210, compared with £165 on Saturday.