Bim Afolami: Will the Secretary of State give further details of what the Government are doing to assist former employees of Monarch Airlines who have lost their jobs as a result of the airline’s collapse?
Chris Grayling: We have had a very early promise on a lot of things. A few hours before the administration came into effect, I spoke to the chief executive of easyJet, who was very helpful. I should express thanks to easyJet for helping us with some problematic routes; for instance, only specialised pilots can fly into or out of Funchal airport.
The chief executive gave me an assurance, and easyJet has given us assurances subsequently, that the airline will hire a substantial proportion of those staff. It is likely to hire 500 very quickly to meet its future demands, because its business is growing rapidly, and I know that other airlines plan to step in and do the same. Jobcentre Plus has already been holding job fairs and airlines have already been going through recruitment exercises, so it is my hope that all those affected will find jobs quickly.