Furloughed airline staff land crucial volunteer roles in the Coronavirus crisis

Furloughed airline staff land crucial volunteer roles in the Coronavirus crisis

During the Coronavirus crisis, airports may be closed and flights cancelled, but that doesn’t mean staff are doing nothing. In fact, thousands of furloughed airline and airport workers are playing an important role by becoming part of the huge volunteer taskforce assisting in helping to combat the pandemic.

Thousands of Virgin and Easyjet staff have joined the NHS Nightingale Hospital taskforce in East London. Their vital contribution has taken the form of practical support for nurses and doctors, thanks to the transferable skills, qualities and qualifications that they already have – such as being first aid and health and safety trained, able to deal with emergencies, and the ability to keep calm under pressure – also the fact that many already have the security clearance required.

Work undertaken includes jobs such as changing beds and other non-clinical tasks. Staff have also been invited to volunteer at the other temporary NHS Nightingale Hospitals, which have been recently opened at Birmingham’s NEC and the former Manchester Central railway station. Airline workers will doubtless play a part in plans for the four additional temporary NHS Nightingale hospitals being built in Bristol, Harrogate, Exeter and Tyne and Wear, too.

The fantastic volunteer support is made possible because the furloughed airline and airport staff will still be paid through the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Tina Milton, Director of Cabin Services for easyJet, said: “We have all needed the NHS at some point in our lives and so we are so proud that our crew can now help to support the NHS at this crucial time.”

EasyJet wrote to all 9,000 of its UK-based staff, including 4,000 CPR-trained cabin crew, asking that they volunteer, while Virgin Atlantic contacted 4,000 employees, with a focus on those with the most relevant skills and training.

The right PPE

Of course, during these times, the need to wear appropriate PPE and adhere to strict health and safety rules remains as vital as ever. This is why strict health and safety and infection control protocols are in place, with PPE required for all staff and volunteers.

Managing Director of Contego Aviation Solutions, Jim Lewis, said: “We have been tremendously impressed with the amazing work that airline staff and airport workers are doing in volunteering to support the vital work of the NHS.

“Despite the fact that stock along the supply chain is being diverted elsewhere, we are also proud to be able to provide PPE support for our existing customers on the frontline, too.”

Additionally, Contego Safety Solutions has been working with clients to provide customised uniforms that identify them as key workers during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Support where it’s needed

Equipping all airside staff, permanent, temporary and contractors, with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is key to creating and maintaining a safe workplace. Contego Aviation Solutions stocks a vast range of protective clothing, PPE and corporate wear, including our own WEARMASTER® range. The friendly and expert team at Contego Aviation Solutions is always on hand to give advice and guidance on the right PPE and protective clothing for your needs. Contact us now on 0800 122 3323 or sales@contegoaviation.co.uk to discuss your requirements.

Contego Aviation Solutions is your one-stop manufacturer, supplier and distributor of safety clothing and PPE equipment for the aviation industry and more. Part of Contego Safety Solutions, Contego Aviation Solutions is the aviation industry protective clothing and equipment supplier that can offer it all.