Coronavirus outbreak ‘could put airports on brink of collapse’

Unite the Union has warned of further job losses at Scottish airports amidst the Covid-19 outbreak.

Airports in Scotland could be on ‘brink of collapse’ without government support due to the coronavirus pandemic, a union has warned.

Around 100 Edinburgh Airport staff could have their roles axed over the crisis, according to Unite.

This adds to a number of jobs lost by flight operator Flybe falling to administration and baggage handling firm Swissport have also announced further redundancies this week.

Edinburgh Airport is owned by Global Infrastructure Partners who employ around 1000 workers.

The vast majority of workers at the airport are represented by Unite which has warned airports across Scotland could be “on brink of collapse” without suitable support and stabilising measures from the government.

The union says a 45-day redundancy consultation process will be established from next week.

Unite’s regional industrial officer has called for the government to initiate a task force to deal with the issue.

Sandy Smart, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “Hundreds of jobs are set to be lost at Edinburgh Airport in addition to the significant losses proposed by Swissport a few days ago.

“There is a crisis facing the civil aviation industry in Scotland. We call on all companies in Scottish airports from those who own them, the airlines who fly out of them and those companies in the supply chain dependent upon them to refrain from announcing wholesale redundancies.

“Unite fully understands the scale of this crisis and that’s why we repeat our call for the Scottish Government to initiate a task force with immediate effect for the civil aviation industry in order to bring forward contingency plans to enable Scottish airports to remain open and to keep the workforce in employment through this crisis.”

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