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Coronavirus

Empty skies: latest radar map around Gatwick shows reality of airline & travel crisis as COVID-19 takes over all our lives

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Grounded, suspended, staff asked to take sabbaticals, others furloughed. The impact of the coronavirus is affecting all aspects of everyday life, none more so than the airline industry.

A recent snapshot of flights across the area and around Gatwick shows the true visual reality that the virus is having.

And staff across airlines are just some of those in the travel industry who have no idea how long this is going to continue for and for how long their jobs will be safe.

Virgin Atlantic were contacted after CN24 received alleged reports that staff who had chosen to take a sabbatical only hours before the government announced their Job Retention Scheme had been denied being allowed to be furloughed instead.

A spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic said:

“Following the rapid acceleration of Covid-19 and extensive travel restrictions, coupled with a sharp drop in customer demand, it is imperative for Virgin Atlantic to take swift and decisive action to safeguard its future. We’re incredibly grateful to our people who took unprecedented collective action to support Virgin Atlantic in this time of crisis, opting into voluntary severance, sabbatical or unpaid leave spread across 6 months.

Over 99% of our people chose one of these options to help the company preserve cash and protect jobs. While we welcome the Chancellor’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, it does not change the need for us to take all possible self-help measures and we ask that our people stand behind the choices they made in order for the company to avoid taking more drastic action. We are confident we will weather this storm and we look forward to welcoming our people who opted for sabbatical back to the business when operations resume.”

As the country comes to the end of another week of lockdown there is now talk that measures set to prevent the spread of the virus may not be lifted till June.

Analysts are now reporting that demand for air travel, however, may not return for another year – and this is apparently a best-case scenario according to reports coming from an analyst at investment bank Stifel.

But the question is not whether the industry will recover, because of course it will. The question is how long can airline and travel businesses hold out till that time and for how long can the government keep paying out?

Satellites have shown that as the air travel has reduced so dramatically then so has the dangerous levels of pollution. But whilst this is good for the environment in the short term, it could actually have a major detrimental effect in the longer run.

This is because of the danger of an emissions surge that is likely to occur as the industry starts to recover.

So as we enter the Easter break the true fact remains that no-one is likely to notice much difference over their habits from the previous week. Possible less calls from home and maybe not much laptop usage for some. But for those in the airline and transport industry these quiet skies are not a welcome break from the droll noise pollution, but just another reminder that we are in the middle of a crisis and no-one knows when it will end.

Coronavirus

Breaking the ‘sex ban’ can cost a Crawley resident up to £3200

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It has been called the most farcical of rules but as the Government updated their coronavirus rules then so it has begun to sink in with media outlets across the UK that this is essentially a sex ban.

The amendments made to the rules say that no person may participate in a gathering which takes place in a private or public place indoors and consists of two or more persons!

According to the government this is to make sure people are not staying away from home at night. But the reality is very different.

If you have a ‘special friend’ or partner you do not live with and wish to have some ‘fun’ together then you are going to have to wait a little longer.

The fines start at £100 (£50 if paid within 14 days) but for repeat offenders it goes up as high as £3200.

Already #sexban has been trending on twitter.

But what is not clear is how the police, who are already over stretched, would even be able to control this?

One Bewbush resident commented on the news:

“So if I decide for some hanky panky with my girlfriend when she comes over am I going to be interrupted mid sesh with some plod stood over me writing a fine?”

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