Virgin Atlantic has announced a possible 600 redundancies as it continues to reshape its business in the downturn.
Meanwhile Ryanair has said it is cutting 200 jobs at its Dublin hub. The news follows plans to reduce staff at Shannon airport by 100.Steve Ridgway, the chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said: “No airline is immune from the recession and we continue to reshape our business to ensure we’re in the best position for the longer term.
However Ryanair claimed the cuts were “not recessionary”, and were instead a response to airport and passenger taxation imposed by the Irish Government.
A Ryanair spokesperson said: “With falling demand for travel, airlines have to reduce their costs through a variety of measures, including cutting capacity, freezing pay, unpaid leave and, regrettably, adjusting staff numbers.”
The airline will begin a statutory 90-day consultation period with its employees and the Unite and Balpa unions.
Ryanair chairman Michael O’Leary said the slump was not affecting the budget airline’s passenger traffic and instead blamed the introduction of a €10 tourist tax by the Irish Government for his company having to make the 200 job cuts.
The airline will reduce its aircraft at Dublin airport by 20 per cent, from 22 to 18, and its traffic will be reduced by 20 per cent for 2009-10, from 10.8 million passengers to 8.7 million.
Ryanair’s summer flight cutbacks will affect routes out of Dublin to the UK and Europe, including a 32 per cent fall in flights to Leeds Bradford, a 23 per cent drop in the schedule to Manchester and a 33 per cent reduction in journeys to Barcelona.