Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has confirmed as many as 900 jobs could go across its UK airports as travel continues to slump in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The operator said 465 roles were under threat at Manchester Airport, as well as 376 at London Stansted and 51 at East Midlands Airport.
Talks with unions have begun about the potential job losses.
MAG said the coronavirus had resulted in the “toughest summer ever,” with the three airports welcoming just 2.8 million passengers between April and August.
This down from over 30 million passengers for the same period last year.
A statement from MAG added it had already taken steps to reduce costs, including asking employees to take a ten per cent pay cut for a year, pausing investment and reducing its management team.
However, it said the “absence of support for the aviation sector, coupled with a lack of progress in introducing testing for UK passengers, has continued to undermine consumer confidence in air travel”.
Commenting on the news, the Unite union blamed the government, accusing authorities of a “failure to support to the aviation sector”.
Charlie Cornish, chief executive of MAG, said: “The specific and short-term pressures of the pandemic are exceptional and particularly challenging for our sector.
“The end of the job retention scheme means we have to consider the number of roles that we can sustain at our airports.”
MAG echoed figures from IATA, arguing passenger demand is unlikely to recover fully before 2024.