COVID-19: Virgin Atlantic to sack 3,000 staff, leave Gatwick airport
- A Monitor Desk Report 06 May, 2020 | 778 Views|-+
Dhaka: Virgin Atlantic is to slash over 3,000 jobs in the UK and end operations at Gatwick airport as the airline is struggling following the impact of coronavirus that has brought the entire global travel to a standstill.
The shock announcement comes after rival British Airways said it could not rule out closing its Gatwick operation.
Virgin Atlantic currently employs a total of about 10,000 people.
The airline is also in the process of applying for state aid and said that jobs will be lost across the board.
"We have weathered many storms since our first flight 36 years ago but none has been as devastating as COVID-19 and the associated loss of life and livelihood for so many," said Shai Weiss, Chief Executive, Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin Atlantic also said it will move its flying programme from Gatwick to Heathrow. It said it intended to keep its slots at Gatwick "so it can return in line with customer demand".
However, Weiss said there was no certainty when the air travel industry would recover from the coronavirus crisis.
Virgin Atlantic said it had begun a 45-day consultation period on the job losses with unions BALPA and Unite.
The carrier also plans to reduce its fleet size from 45 to 35 by the summer of 2022.
It hopes to restore about 60 per cent of its pre-pandemic flying capacity by the end of 2020.