Coronavirus: 248 jobs could be at risk at Edinburgh Airport

Scotland’s busiest airport has admitted the cuts figure as a “worst case scenario”.

Friday, 20th March 2020, 9:13 pm
Updated Friday, 20th March 2020, 9:21 pm
Edinburgh Airport normally handles more than 1 million passengers a month. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Edinburgh Airport officials have confirmed a union claim that hundreds of jobs could be at risk because of the collapse in aviation caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Chief executive Gordon Dewar had said yesterday that 100 or more were threatened.

But Unite said it was told today by the airport there could be 248 redundancies among the 750 staff as it partially closes following a 65 per cent reduction in flights and likely zero traffic for two months.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The union also said airport owner Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) proposed a 20 per cent pay cut for all staff for the next eight months.

It said that came on top of up to 300 Swissport and Menzies Aviation baggage handling and other jobs at risk.

Unite said Edinburgh and other Scottish airports “could be on the brink of collapse” without UK and Scottish Government backing.

‘Catastrophe’

Regional industrial officer Sandy Smart said: “The brutal cuts proposed by GIP would result in hundreds of jobs losses and a 20 per cent reduction in pay for more than 500 workers for eight months.

“The proposals, if implemented, would be a catastrophe.

“We believe they are totally unnecessary in light of the UK Government bringing forward proposals to support workers and industry.”

An airport spokesman said: “We share Unite’s passion for a strong aviation sector and to support the staff working in it because that’s exactly what we want too.

“However, it’s important we look at every possible outcome – including this worst case scenario.

‘Look at everything open to us’

“The UK Government’s announcement, which came after our meeting, is welcome and we are eager to find out exactly how this might help us.

“This is day one of a 45-day process, so we have enough time to look at everything open to us and so reach a better understanding of the situation before any final decisions are made.

“As announced previously, we are consulting with the team at Edinburgh Airport on how best to deal with the challenging months ahead.

“We’re talking to our team openly and transparently.

“We have no time to play games or posture - we need mature and robust discussion with our people and their representatives.

“We’ll continue that on Monday, but we will not be conducting that conversation through the media.”