After easyJet announced this morning that they will be grounding all their aircraft, many workers for the airline were left without jobs. The airline announced this morning that after operating 650 rescue flights and returning home 45,000 Britons, they would be closing their doors until further notice.
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The airline has 9,000 UK-based staff which includes 4,000 cabin crew who will be paid 80 percent of their average pay through the Government job retention scheme.
But now the cabin crew have been asked, along with those from Virgin Atlantic, to help out at the new Nightingale hospitals across the country.
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Staff at both airlines have been invited to volunteer at the new 4,000-bed clinic being built at the ExCel centre in east London.
They have also been asked to volunteer at those planned in Birmingham and Manchester.
The reason that the cabin crew have been asked to volunteer is because they are trained in first aid.
And many of them are currently sat in isolation as countries close their borders and cancel flights due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
While easyJet have already written to their 9,000 UK-base staff, Virgin Atlantic will begin writing to its 4,000 employees today.
The airlines will reportedly be prioritising getting in touch with those who already have the required skills.
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Cabin crew and staffers who decide to join the frontline will be given expert training and will then be asked to change beds and take part in supportive roles under the guidance of trained nurses.
St John’s Ambulance have already had hundreds of people volunteer to work at the first Nightingale hospital in London.
Chief nursing officer for England Ruth May said the NHS is desperate for support.
She said:“Thousands of nurses, medics and other expert staff are returning to work alongside us, but we need everyone to do their bit – whether that is working in one of our current health or social care services, working in the Nightingale Hospital, volunteering to help the NHS or following government advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”
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Last week, the Government asked the public to volunteer for the NHS in order to help doctors and nurses on the frontline.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in an announcement that staggering a staggering 500,000 people had signed up to volunteer last week.
Since then the number has risen to 750,000, according to the Royal Voluntary Service.
The huge recruitment drive has now paused thanks to its overwhelming success.
Mr Johnson also said that 20,000 former NHS staff had also returned to the service.
Last Thursday, millions of people across the country opened their windows and doors and praised NHS workers by giving them a round of applause for their hard work in fighting against coronavirus.
Chief customer officer at Virgin Atlantic, Corneel Koster said: “We are grateful to the NHS for everything they are doing in extremely challenging circumstances and we’re committed to doing all we can to support the national effort against the rapid acceleration of Covid-19.”
easyJet has expressed how “proud” they are that their staff can support medics at this “crucial time”.
Tina Milton, director of cabin services, added: “The NHS is at the forefront of dealing with this health emergency but the training and skills our cabin crew have, working closely with the medical professionals, could help make a real difference.”
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