A question from ITV at the daily briefing raised the spectre of aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce considering thousands job cuts, with the British workforce potentially bearing the brunt. It follows the announcement of major job cuts by British Airways and Ryanair.
BA is looking at cutting 12,000 people from its 42,000-strong workforce, citing a collapse in business. The company thinks it will take several years for air travel to return to pre-virus levels.
Ryanair is looking at 3,000 job cuts – that’s 15% of its workforce. Boss Michael O’Leary has also said it would take six months to refund passengers for flights cancelled.
Robert Jenrick, the minister fronting today’s briefing, said the government wanted to support the UK’s aviation industry, which he said was “an extremely important one strategically” as well as an industry which employs “a great deal of people”.
“If there’s more we can do, we will do so.”