Hundreds may face redundancies at Stansted Airport as company enters talks

London Stansted Airport terminal. Picture: London Stansted Airport

London Stansted Airport terminal. Picture: London Stansted Airport - Credit: London Stansted Airport

Hundreds of people working at Stansted Airport may lose their jobs, parent company Manchester Airports Group confirmed.

The announcement comes as the group experienced a 90 percent drop in travel demand since March, compared to last year.

MAG is now preparing to discuss almost 900 job losses with unions and staff, in order to reduce employee costs. Of these, 376 would be at Stansted Airport.

Proposals would also see ajustments to roles, roster patterns and other employment measures.

Stansted Airport representatives said the aviation sector lacks support and that there is a lack of progress in introducing testing for UK passengers.

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They thus expect passenger demand will not fully recover before 2024.

The airport group has previously taken measures to reduce the impact of the pandemic, such as asking employees to take a 10 percent pay cut for a year, reducing the management team, pausing capital investment and non-essential expenditure.

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Airport sources say the government’s Job Support Scheme will be offering employers a much smaller contribution to meeting payroll costs, as the furlough scheme ends this month.

Charlie Cornish, CEO of MAG, said: “By now, we would have hoped to see a strong and sustained recovery in demand. Unfortunately, the resurgence of the virus across the UK and 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.

“We will be discussing these issues with our trade unions, and consulting them fully on a range of options for reducing the size and overall cost of our workforce. We want to work with them to make sure we minimise the impact on our people as much as we can.

“I want to thank everyone across MAG for the dedication they have shown through the toughest summer our industry has ever seen. MAG and other UK airports remain fundamentally strong businesses that will play an important role in driving the country’s recovery, but the specific and short term pressures of the pandemic are exceptional and particularly challenging for our sector.

“We are proud of our long-standing role in supporting communities around our airports and underpinning the employment of more than 130,000 people across the UK. We will continue to work to protect as many jobs as possible, maintain dialogue with our trade unions, and continue to make the case to government for the direct support that UK aviation needs.”

Saffron Walden MP Kemi Badenoch has been contacted for comment.

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