NEARLY 400 jobs are at risk at Stansted Airport, following a dramatic decrease in passenger numbers due to the coronavirus.
The coronavirus has had a huge impact on everyone’s lives. However, one of the heaviest hit industries has been the travel industry, most noticeably travel by air.
Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is planning to cut up to 900 jobs across three different airports (Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands). This is in response to a huge decline in travel demand due to countries going into lockdown, and quarantine restrictions.
The aviation sector has seen dramatic decreases in demand with an estimated 90% fall in demand from passengers between April and August. The three airports mentioned welcomed 30.3 million passengers within that period last year. This year, they’ve seen a mere 2.8 million with the monthly passenger demand being a staggering 75% below normal levels. The airport operator does not expect passenger demand to recover fully until 2023-24.
MAG is heavily reliant on the Government’s furlough job retention scheme that was implemented on July 1. With the scheme planned to end on October 31 time is running out for the company to start making profit.
“By now, we would have hoped to see a strong and sustained recovery in demand,” stated Chief executive of MAG, Charlie Cornish. “Unfortunately, the resurgence of the virus across Europe and the reintroduction of travel restrictions have meant this has not happened.
The end of the job retention scheme means that we have to consider the number of roles that we can sustain at our airports.”
In response to MAG’s announcement Unite, the largest trade union and largest general union in the UK, released a press release supporting its members.
Unite regional officer Mark Barker said: “Unite will do everything it can to reduce job losses at Stansted airport and seek to ensure that any eventual redundancies are voluntary and not compulsory in nature.
“These job losses are an inevitable consequence of the government’s failure to provide sector specific support to the aviation industry, the sector which has been most heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic”
Unite states that the job losses will impact on directly employed workers at the airport including security officers, customer service staff and car park attendants.
Working together with other aviation unions, Unite is calling for the government to undertake the economic and fiscal measures needed to support the sector.
Image credits: Stansted Airport Press Office