THE UK’s largest airport group is preparing to cut hundreds of jobs at Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports as the second wave of Covid-19 hits travel.
Manchester Airports Group confirmed it will begin discussions with unions on proposals to reduce employee costs in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The proposals could mean the loss of 465 roles at Manchester Airport, 376 roles at London Stansted Airport and 51 roles at East Midlands Airport.
In addition, some existing roles will be altered, along with shift patterns.
The announcement follows a 90% reduction in demand for travel through MAG airports since March, compared with the previous year.
Current monthly demand is still three quarters below normal levels.
Coronavirus job cuts in the travel industry
THE travel industry has been severely impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
As less people head abroad, many airlines have announced plans to cut jobs to offset their profit losses.
- Gatwick has announced plans to cut 600 jobs, around 25% of its workforce.
- Heathrow is asking 2,500 workers to accept hefty pay cuts or half may lose jobs.
- British Airways announced plans to cut around 12,000 members of staff. In addition, the airline wants to switch remaining workers onto lower paid contracts.
- Ryanair confirmed that up to 3,250 jobs could be slashed while staff face 20 per cent pay cuts.
- TUI warned 8,000 jobs could go, which would amount to 30% of its entire workforce.
- easyJet announced plans to axe around 5,000 jobs. The airline is also shutting its bases at London Stansted, Southend and Newcastle Airport.
- Virgin Atlantic said it plans on cutting 3,150 jobs after owner Sir Richard Branson said the airline could fall into adminstration without a government bailout.
- Jet2 is making 102 pilots redundant after talks aimed at saving jobs failed.
- Flybe collapsed into administration on March 5. The airline had been losing money for several months but coronavirus was understood to have had a severe impact on bookings.
- Hays travel has announced 878 employees out of 4,500 could lose their jobs.
- STA Travel UK has gone out of business, leaving thousands of customers chasing refunds.
Aviation has been one of the hardest hit sectors of the economy, with hundreds of job cut proposals already announced by rival airports.
London City Airport has announced plans to cut up to 239 jobs, while Gatwick has proposed cutting 600 jobs, around 25% of its workforce.
Heathrow is asking 2,500 workers to accept hefty pay cuts or half may lose jobs.
Airlines have also been placed under pressure due to Covid-19.
Ryanair has said it plans to axe 3,250 jobs, while British Airways has warned it needs to cut 12,000 jobs.
TUI have also confirmed proposals to cut 8,000 roles.
Since the start of the pandemic, MAG has taken steps to reduce its cost base, including asking every employee to take a 10% pay cut for a year and pausing capital investment and non-essential expenditure.
Overall passenger demand is not expected to recover fully before 2023-24.
MAG has already reduced the size of its management team, and worked closely with its trade unions throughout the period in order to protect as many jobs as possible.
The proposed measures will be subject to consultation with MAG’s unions and staff across Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands Airports.
It said: "The reduction in Government financial support, combined with a more challenging outlook, means that MAG now needs to propose further steps to reduce the size of its workforce to secure the long-term future of the business."
Charlie Cornish, CEO of MAG, said: "By now, we would have hoped to see a strong and sustained recovery in demand.
"Unfortunately, the resurgence of the virus across Europe and the reintroduction of travel restrictions have meant this has not happened.
"With uncertainty about when a vaccine will be widely available, we need to be realistic about when demand is likely to recover.
"The end of the Job Retention Scheme means that we have to consider the number of roles that we can sustain at our airports."
It comes after the World Travel & Tourism Council warned three million jobs are at risk of disappearing in the travel industry.
Last month, Hays travel announced 878 employees out of 4,500 could lose their jobs.
STA Travel UK has gone out of business leaving thousands of customers chasing refunds.
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