“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 of all we do."
Today the company announced its plan to reduce the by 3,150. Persons have been selected from across all functions. However, Virgin asserts that they are working closely with unions BALPA and Unite. A company-wide consultation period of 45 days begins today.
“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. As we have navigated the COVID-19 crisis, I have been humbled at every step by their solidarity. In times of adversity we must support each other so that ultimately, we can emerge a stronger and better Virgin Atlantic."
But Weiss said that for some it may not be a separation forever.
Flashing back, he added: “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."
With high hopes for post-COVID-19, the CEO urged that "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.”
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