ONE of the largest employers in the region is now able to draw on a government-backed loan scheme in a bid to secure thousands of jobs.

The Treasury has confirmed that Jet2 is now eligible for Covid Corporate Financing Facility after North Yorkshire MPs highlighted their plight.

Kevin Hollinrake, Thirsk and Malton MP, led the intervention with Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough.

He said he had taken up the airline’s case with Ministers after the company had told him that it was in a formal review process with the Government to apply for the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) after the eligibility criteria changed in October 2020.

Jet2 employs more than 3,000 people in Yorkshire, many of whom are in Mr Hollinrake's constituency.

The CCFF was set up to support liquidity among larger firms, helping them to bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through the purchase of short-term debt in the form of commercial paper.

Mr Hollinrake appealed to Ministers to review Jet2’s case on the basis that the company makes a significant contribution to the UK economy and was in sound financial health prior to the pandemic.

He said: “This is very good news for Jet2 and it will make a significant difference to the company in the months ahead as it is able to resume business and we all start to go on holiday again.

"It is one of the largest employers in the region, flying from 10 UK bases including Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle.

"Jet2 planes have been grounded for much of 2020 and the whole of 2021 so far and the additional headroom this liquidity brings will further enable the business to deal with the ongoing disruption to the sector and ensure it can bounce back to the profitable business it was as we come out of lockdown."

Treasury Minister John Glen said: “I am grateful to Mr Hollinrake for bringing his concerns to my attention. The Government recognises Jet2’s contribution to the UK’s economy as well as its steps to navigate the challenges of the last 12 months.

"We are mindful of the continued uncertainty facing the sector and HM Treasury continues to support the Department of Transport’s work leading the Global Travel Taskforce to facilitate a resumption of international travel.”

Jet2 executive chairman Philip Meeson said: "The Group is grateful to both the Bank of England and HM Treasury for the CCFF, the ongoing provision of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and, together with the responsible liquidity actions already taken by the business, this provides the Group with additional headroom to deal with the ongoing cost of disruption to our sector, ensuring we can continue to support our great business through this challenging period.”

Jet2 holidays is the UK’s second largest tour operator offering package holidays across the Mediterranean, Canary Islands and Europe.