Virgin Atlantic To Quit Gatwick Base Prompting Over 3,000 Job Cuts

Virgin Atlantic has revealed plans to reshape and resize its business, in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy.


Virgin Atlantic To Quit Gatwick Base Prompting Over 3,000 Job Cuts
Virgin Atlantic to cut over 3,000 jobs Photo: Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic is planning to cut upto a third of its workforce of 10,000 people. The airline has announced to cut more than 3,000 jobs. 




Along with plan for substantial job cuts, the airline has also announced the closure of its operations at London Gatwick Airport. The airline has been headquartered in Gatwick for the past 35 years. 

As reported by the Financial Times, in a briefing held by the British airline, the trade unions and staff were advised of up to 3,150 job cuts.

Hence, the airline will move leisure flying to London Heathrow. The airline will retain its focus at its base in Manchester as a second hub.




Currently, Virgin Atlantic is in the process of applying for emergency loans from the government to sustain during this pandemic.


Virgin Atlantic To Quit Gatwick Base Prompting Over 3,000 Job Cuts
Virgin will move leisure flying to London Heathrow Photo: Virgin

Virgin Atlantic Pilot's union Balpa said, "This is another terrible blow for the industry and is evidence of the dire situation facing UK aviation."

Balpa's secretary, Brian Strutton said, "Our members and all staff in Virgin Atlantic will be shocked by the scale of this bombshell. We will be challenging Virgin very hard to justify this."




Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss had already sent an internal memo to the staff of the airline warning of the job cute. Virgin Atlantic also said that the jobs will be lost across the board.


Virgin Atlantic To Quit Gatwick Base Prompting Over 3,000 Job Cuts
Shai Weiss wants to see a stronger Virgin after the crisis Photo: Virgin

"If we are to safeguard our future and emerge from this crisis a sustainably profitable business, now is the time for further decisive action to reduce costs and preserve cash," said Virgin Atlantic CEO.




The airline is still awaiting a decision £500m ($545m) emergency loan from the government to survive this crisis due to corona virus.

In a statement sent to Aero World, the Virgin CEO said:

"We have weathered many storms since our first flight 36 years ago, but none has been as devastating as COVID-19 and the associated loss of life and livelihood for so many."




"However, to safeguard our future and emerge a sustainably profitable business, now is the time for further action to reduce our costs, preserve cash and to protect as many jobs as possible. It is crucial that we return to profitability in 2021. This will mean taking steps to reshape and resize Virgin Atlantic in line with demand, while always keeping our people and customers at the heart off all we do."


Virgin Atlantic To Quit Gatwick Base Prompting Over 3,000 Job Cuts
Virgin is currently awaiting government loan Photo: Virgin

CEO Shai Weiss added, "I wish it was not the case, but we will have to reduce the  number of people we employ. The commitment of our people throughout this crisis has been nothing but amazing, and the embodiment of true Virgin spirit."




"After 9/11 and the Global Financial Crisis, we took similar painful measures but fortunately many members of our team were back flying with us within a couple of years. Depending on how long the pandemic lasts and the period of time our planes are grounded for, hopefully the same will happen this time."

"Our vision for Virgin Atlantic remains the same - to become the most loved travel company, for our people and our customers. Once the crisis stabilises, Virgin Atlantic has an important role to play in contributing to the UK's economic recovery, providing essential connectivity and competition." 


Virgin Atlantic To Quit Gatwick Base Prompting Over 3,000 Job Cuts
Virgin Atlantic will not sale its slots at Gatwick Photo: Boeing




Along with Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Ryanair has also announced thousands of job cuts. The aerospace engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has also planned job cuts.

However, Virgin Atlantic will not sale its slots at Gatwick airport. Instead it will lease them out to other airlines, giving Virgin option to return when the aviation market returns to normal.

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