Virgin Atlantic will cut 3,150 jobs across all functions as part of its strategy to reduce cost and preserve cash. The airline is working closely with unions and a company-wide consultation period of 45 days begins today.
It is crucial that we return to profitability in 2021. This will mean taking steps to reshape and resize Virgin Atlantic in line with demand, while always keeping our people and customers at the heart of all we do. I wish it was not the case, but we will have to reduce the number of people we employ.”, said Chief Executive Shai Weiss.
The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) called the news devastating saying “this is another terrible blow for the industry and is evidence of the dire situation facing UK aviation.”
Virgin Atlantic also plans to end flights from London's Gatwick airport. The firm says it will retain landing slots so it could resume if customer demand returns.
“Following the pattern of previous crises including 9/11 and the Global Financial Crisis, capacity across the aviation industry will significantly reduce, with recovery to pre-crisis levels expected to take up to three years,” the company said.
The airline added it continues to explore all available options for additional external funding and remains in talks with stakeholders and the government.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced countries to seal their borders and impose travel restrictions to certain areas. Airlines are scaling back their schedules, canceling flights and suspending some routes entirely.