Virgin Atlantic to shed 1,200 jobs

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The Independent Online

Virgin Atlantic is to cut 1,200 jobs and reduce flights to America in response to the "exceptional circumstances" following the terrorist attacks in the US, the airline announced today.

Virgin Atlantic is to cut 1,200 jobs and reduce flights to America in response to the "exceptional circumstances" following the terrorist attacks in the US, the airline announced today.

Volunteers will be sought for redundancy, but jobs will be cut across the board, including pilots, cabin crew and office staff.

Flights will operate normally in the coming weeks to help clear the backlog caused by the delays since the outrage.

But Virgin plans to ground five aircraft and reduce its activity by 20 per cent, including halting three daily flights to the US and Canada.

Virgin will also use smaller planes on some routes as a result of the "long–term effect" of the outrage.

"We will take all possible measures to avoid compulsory redundancies," said a spokesman,

"we are looking to offer job opportunities to staff in the rest of the Virgin group."

The reduction in services will start in October.

Virgin Atlantic chairman Sir Richard Branson said the decision had been forced on the company by the consequences of last week's "tragic" events.

"Virgin Atlantic needs to respond quickly and responsibly to match these exceptional circumstances and the consequential reduction of future customer demand.

"It is clear to everyone that there will be significantly less traffic across the North Atlantic for some time. By taking this action now we will put ourselves in a position from which to expand again in the future."

The airline employs around 9,000 staff worldwide, including 7,400 in the UK.



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