6th April 2020

Environment Almost 200 Swissport jobs at risk following Flybe collapse

Environment Almost 200 Swissport jobs at risk following Flybe collapse

Environment

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Staff at Swissport in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow are facing job cuts

Almost 200 airport jobs are at risk following the collapse of Flybe, the Unite union has warned.

The union said 120 Swissport staff – a third of the workforce – were under threat at Edinburgh Airport, with 36 at risk in Aberdeen, and 39 in Glasgow.

The cargo and baggage handling firm has launched a consultation to “put the business on a firmer footing”.

It said the coronavirus outbreak had affected flight and passenger numbers worldwide.

Pat McIlvogue, the union’s regional industrial officer, said the redundancy consultation was “premature and totally unacceptable”.

“Many of the former Flybe routes are being re-established or in the process of being taken on by other airlines,” he added.

The Exeter-based airline collapsed after a bid for fresh financial support failed, claiming the impact of the coronavirus outbreak was partly to blame.

It operated flights to UK destinations from all of Scotland’s large airports.

Scottish airline Loganair has since announced plans to take on 16 of Flybe’s routes and British Airways has taken back 12 slots from the carrier.

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Reuters

Unite represents the majority of Swissport employees at Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports.

Mr McIlvogue said: “Unite will be meeting Swissport management in the coming days in order to make our case that no immediate decisions need to be made as alternative plans are being brought forward to maintain the routes.

“We call on Swissport to halt this redundancy process and talk to us in order to find solutions to keep people in work.”

Environment ‘Challenging period’

Unite has also requested a meeting with Scotland’s transport minister, Michael Matheson.

A spokeswoman for Swissport said; “The outbreak of Covid-19 has had a significant impact on global aviation, with large reductions in flight and passenger numbers worldwide. With the unfortunate news about Flybe it is clear the sector is entering a challenging period.

“As the situation evolves, we have a responsibility to our employees, customers and partners to ensure our business remains resilient and reliable in this fluid market environment.

“We have launched a formal consultation process through which we will seek to agree a series of proposals which we believe will put the business on firmer footing for the future. This process will be led by employee representatives and senior management.

“We understand that this will be an uncertain and concerning time for colleagues and our priority is to support them throughout this period.”

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