Sunday, 19 April 2020

Airport handling agents warn of major job losses

Photo Menzies Aviation
According to Sky News,  a quartet pf the leading airport handling agents including Dnata, Menzies Aviation, Swissport and Worldwide Flight Services have written to the government warning that they will be forced to lay off around 10,000 staff.

The letter has been sent to Steve Barclay, chief secretary to the Treasury, warning they will instigate the layoffs this weekend unless ministers extend the government's emergency wage subsidy scheme. They say in the letter, "If the Job Retention Scheme ends as planned at the end of May, we will be forced to make upwards of 10,000 staff redundant. This, as you know, is because businesses making over 100 people redundant are mandated to inform all affected personnel with at least 45 days' notice."  That deadline was Saturday. 

Some of the demands by the ground handling agents include 12-month business rates holiday, "Having witnessed a 95% revenue drop leading to the laying off of thousands of our 25,000-strong workforce, absent of any flexibility on these dates, our businesses edge closer to complete collapse," they say in the letter, Sky News has reported. 

Swissport is owned by the massive Chinese conglomerate HNA Group which has revenues in excess of $53.335 billion.  Dnata is Dubai National Air Transport Association, which is part of The Emirates Group, owned in full by the Investment Corporation of Dubai - the Government of Dubai - which has already confirmed it will support the company through the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis.  Worldwide Flight Services has a turnover of around £1300million and is owned by The Vinci Group - which also owns London Gatwick Airport and its shareholders include the French and Qatari Governments. 

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