EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic

Geographic Location

Country: United Kingdom


Sector: Transportation / storage
Transportation and storage
51.10 - Passenger air transport
Number Employed: 6800

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 04-09-2020
Planned Job Reductions min: 1150
Planned Job Reductions max: 1150
Type of Restructuring: Internal restructuring

Additional Information

Virgin Atlantic , the UK-based airline has announced plans to cut 1,150 jobs in the UK, in addition to the 3,150 redundancies announced since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company will put further 600 cabin crew on temporary paid leave (‘furlough’) from October, when the UK government funded scheme ends. Consultations with the pilots' union Balpa and the Unite union have already started.

The company’s chief executive said the redundancies were 'heartbreaking', but necessary to ensure its survival as international travel was recovering more slowly than predicted, with many travel restrictions still in place.

The trade union Unite union said the growing number of job losses was due to the UK government not providing support to the aviation sector, which is of key importance to the British economy.  

The announcement about the job losses came after it was reported that the company had successfully sought a bailout from its creditors. Despite the successful bailout, aviation industry experts said that the company’s future is uncertain beyond the next 18 months.