Future of Gatwick Airport ‘under threat’ says union

A stern warning that the future of Gatwick Airport could be under threat has gone out following a new round of job cuts in the airline industry.

Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 4:43 pm

Airline Virgin Atlantic announced today that it was cutting more than 3,000 jobs and was pulling out of Gatwick because of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

British Airways has already announced 12,000 job cuts and now the union Unite has said the latest moves ‘threaten the future of Gatwick Airport.’

A Unite spokesman said: “The loss of 3,150 jobs across the Virgin airline and holiday businesses is another devastating blow to the UK aviation sector and makes it even more urgent that government steps forward with a comprehensive financial support package for the industry.”

Crawley and West Sussex's economies heavily rely on Gatwick Airport and the aviation sector

Unite, which represents Virgin cabin crew and check-in staff, also expressed fears about the future of Gatwick Airport as a viable economic entity.

Unite national officer for civil air transport Oliver Richardson said: “The decision to make 3,150 staff redundant across Virgin’s holiday and airline businesses is another devastating blow to the UK’s beleaguered aviation industry.

“It is also premature as the government’s job retention scheme is still up and running and being fully utilised by the company.

“The company as yet have not formally notified us of the detail of their proposals and we urge them not to act in haste whilst the job retention scheme is in operation.”

Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: “We have grave concerns about the impact on Gatwick airport and the local economy following this latest blow.”

Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for Worthing West, said the Government needed to help.

“This is devastating for hundreds of local households who are amongst the thousands affected.

“It tragically follows the likely loss of so many British Airways positions.

“I will be working alongside colleagues from across the south east.

“The Government needs to do all it can to help.”

See https://www.wscountytimes.co.uk/business/virgin-atlantic-pull-out-gatwick-and-cut-3150-jobs-2843370|Virgin Atlantic pulls out of Gatwick and cuts 3,150 jobs|Virgin Atlantic pulls out of Gatwick and cuts 3,150 jobs}

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