Virgin Atlantic to axe more than 3,000 jobs

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Virgin Atlantic is to axe up to a third of its workforce as it battles to secure new funding that would enable it to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Sky News has learnt that the airline majority-owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is to cut just over 3,000 jobs in a move that will spell the end of its long-running operations at London’s Gatwick Airport.

Trade unions and staff were briefed on the redundancies on Tuesday lunchtime ahead of the official announcement.

The statement confirmed that Virgin’s seven Boeing 747s were to be retired as the airline’s fleet is reduced from 43 planes to 36.

Its landing slots at Gatwick were to be retained, the company said, in case future demand allowed its operations to resume.

But a total of 3,150 jobs are at risk across the group.

Virgin said its plans were designed to “reshape and resize (the) business to ensure that is it fit for the future, in response to the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, our nation and the travel and aviation industry”.

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