Friday, 4 September 2020

Virgin to shed yet more jobs despite rescue deal being agreed

Virgin Atlantic, the UK airline, part-owned by U.S. carrier Delta had confirmed that another 1150 staff at the troubled firm will lose their jobs, despite a £1.2 billion rescue deal being agreed in recent weeks.

These new job losses come around four months since the airline axed more than 3500 jobs and closed its London Gatwick Airport home base. 

"The outlook for transatlantic flying, which is core to Virgin Atlantic's business, remains uncertain with US-UK travel curtailed," the airline said in a statement,  "Until travel returns in greater numbers, survival is predicated on reducing costs further and continuing to preserve cash,"

Whilst these times are incredibly difficult for all airlines, Virgin says the last six months have been the most difficult in its history and the recent rescue deal secures that carriers future for only the next 17 months

Virgin is commencing the legally mandated 45-day consultation period with staff this Friday and could not rule out further job losses in the future. The airline is hopeful it can avoid compulsory redundancies by introducing a similar scheme to the government's furlough scheme for around 600.

Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary said:  "Hardly a day now goes by without more tough news from the aviation industry. This announcement from Virgin is the latest.

Our reps are meeting with Virgin next week and I am hopeful they we will find a way to avoid any further pilot redundancies. Every single job lost to this crisis is a tragedy and we are doing everything we can to mitigate job losses across the board.
"Despite no help from Government, their financing is now secure. I am confident that Virgin Atlantic will get through this Coronavirus crisis and will emerge in a strong position."

Virgin has now been removed from a list of preferred airlines by a business travel agency based in Brighton and other aviation analysts are predicting the demise of the airline in less than 18 months' time. 

The airline is calling for both UK and US governments to introduce robust passenger testing regimes to lift travel restrictions whilst protecting public health. 

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