Virgin Atlantic cuts 1,200 jobs

Virgin
Atlantic is to cut 1,200 jobs in reponse to the long-term effects of last
week’s terrorist attack on the US.

The
company announced the job losses today as it revealed plans to reduce its
transatlantic flights by about 20 per cent from the begnning of October.

Until
then the airline will operate a full flight schedule between the UK and the US
in order to help clear the backlog of stranded and bereaved passengers.

A
spokesman for the airline said the company is starting the process of
consultation with the unions and will take all measures to minimise compulsory
redundancies by asking staff to come forward to take voluntary redundancy.

Staff
will also be offered the chance to be interviewed for jobs with Virgin Active,
Virgin’s leisure and health club business that is in the middle of a £30m
expansion programme. That sector will create up to 700 new jobs over the next
12 months.

Richard
Branson, chairman of Virgin Atlantic Airways, said, "The thoughts of
everyone at Virgin Atlantic are still with the families and friends of those
involved in last week’s tragic events. Today’s decision has been forced on us
by the consequences of those events.

"It
is clear to everyone that there wll be significantly less traffic across the
North Atlantic for some time.

"By
taking this action now we will put ourselves in a postion from which we can
expand again in the future."

By
Ben Willmott

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