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Virgin Atlantic to cut 1,150 more jobs as voluntary furlough scheme for additional 600 crew introduced

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Virgin Atlantic has announced that it is to cut a further 1,150 jobs across the business as it works to downsize further.

The airline says it is working closing with the unions to achieve this with a 45 day consultation starting today (4th Sept).

In addition, a voluntary company-led and financed furlough scheme is being introduced for an additional 600 crew which will happen when the Governments Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends at the end of October.

In a statement the airline said:

“The last six months have been the most challenging in Virgin Atlantic’s history. Even in the toughest times, the people of Virgin Atlantic are what sets it apart and they have made tremendous sacrifices.

Unfortunately, despite actions already taken to reshape and resize the business, regrettably the airline must go further one last time with changes at scale, to ensure it emerges from this crisis.”

Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic commented:

“Together, we have achieved what many thought impossible and that is down to the efforts and sacrifices of so many across the Company. The completion of the privateonly, solvent recapitalisation of Virgin Atlantic removes much of the uncertainty we faced and represents a major step forward in our fight for survival. We greatly appreciate the support of our shareholders, creditors and new private investors and together, we will ensure that the airline continues to provide vital connectivity and competition.


“Now we must focus our efforts on securing our long-term future, by ensuring that Virgin Atlantic not only survives but thrives as passenger demand returns. It’s clear that the introduction of passenger testing is the only way to enable the removal of travel restrictions and open up flying to key markets, while protecting public health. We will continue to work with our industry partners to press for urgent government action.


“After the sacrifices so many of our people have made, further reducing the number of people we employ is heart-breaking but essential for survival. I truly hope that as demand returns, we will see many members of our team returning to us. The unique spirit of our people, the passion we have for our customers and each other, and the drive to do things better has been tested but not broken. There will be a recovery, the timing and speed of which is uncertain. When our customers return to the skies we will be there to welcome them onboard with belief in our future. It is then that we will appreciate that everything we have done, painful to so many, was worth it.”

Gatwick

UK’s first UV treatment of security trays installed at Gatwick to protect passengers and staff by reducing spread of coronaviruses

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Gatwick is the first airport in the UK to treat its security trays with enough UV light energy to guarantee a 99.9% microbe disinfection rate – protecting passengers and staff and reducing the spread of coronaviruses, including COVID-19, and other infections on this high-touch surface area.

The new, highly effective system – provided by Smiths Detection – sees each tray pass through a covered ‘UV-tunnel’ fixed underneath the hand luggage screening system, as trays exit the scanners, so that every tray is treated immediately before each passenger uses it.

Following a one-month trial on a single security lane in July 2020, with laboratory testing demonstrating a 99.9% microbe disinfection rate, the new system will be rolled out on eight lanes in Gatwick’s North Terminal – six for passengers and two for staff – by the end of this month.

The system uses short-wavelength UV-C light, which laboratory tests show is effective against coronaviruses, including COVID-19 and SARS, as the radiation warps the structure of their genetic material and prevents the viral particles from replicating.

The UV-C light is completely contained within a covered unit designed following safety standard BS EN ISO 15858:2016, ensuring no risk of exposure to either passengers or staff.

Gatwick and other airports have already deployed other anti-viral systems, such as coatings sprayed on to trays, however this protection dissipates over time whereas this new system treats every tray just before use – ensuring maximum protection and a reduced risk of passing on infection.

Other health measures in place at Gatwick include the frequent, enhanced deep cleaning of common-use surfaces throughout the airport, installation of approx. 500 Perspex screens, social distancing procedures at check in, security and gate rooms, well-spaced seating in departure halls and in restaurants, bars and shops and regularly signposted hand washing facilities and around 200 sanitising stations.

All passengers are also advised to bring and wear their own face covering throughout the airport and to check Gatwick’s latest online health guidance before leaving home.

Adrian Witherow, Chief Operating Officer, Gatwick Airport, said:

The health and wellbeing of our passengers and staff remains our priority. The system goes above and beyond the guidelines and we will continue to do everything we can to help reassure our passengers that flying is still a great travelling experience and that the health measures we have in place are effective and easy to follow.

“This new system has proven itself to be extremely reliable and provides a really high degree of reassurance as every single passenger and staff member using the system will have a tray that has only just been disinfected.  As an airport, we will continue to explore innovative health solutions like this that reduce the spread of coronaviruses and other infections. “

We’ve partnered with Gatwick Airport on a number of security projects over the years, bringing them cutting-edge screening technology and greater operational efficiency,” said Richard Thompson, Smiths Detection’s Global Director of Aviation.

The introduction of the UV-C kits demonstrates their interest in ensuring the highest standard of care for their customers and team members in response to COVID-19. The technology deployed by Smiths Detection will not only help to create a healthy airport but is also completely safe to use and will not slow down the security screening process.”

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