Virgin Atlantic to axe 500 jobs

Virgin Atlantic to axe 500 jobs

Virgin Atlantic is to shed 500 of its 9,000-strong workforce in a fresh efficiency drive despite returning to profit last year.

The managerial and support staff roles will go by the end of the year.

The job cuts will be achieved through a combination of natural attrition, redeployment and redundancies.

The airline said it wanted to build on its successful return to profitability by structuring the business in a “simpler, more efficient way” with fewer management layers, “bringing the entire business closer to the customer”.

The airline made a pre-tax profit of £14.4 million in 2014 after three years of losses.

Virgin Atlantic said: “These changes will take place over the next few months, with a target of completing the programme by the end of the year.

“The airline and holiday business is now working to grow to record levels of sustained profitability by 2018, by shifting focus to long-term improvement and resilience, no matter what the external environment may bring.

“This transformation plan focuses on placing the organisation closer to its customers, becoming more cost efficient and continuing to invest into customer experience.

“Virgin Atlantic aims to reduce its non-fuel costs through focusing on driving efficiency and simplicity throughout all areas of the business whilst delivering an even better customer experience. This reduction will make the airline more competitive, ultimately ensuring it can continue to invest in the overall Virgin Atlantic experience loved by its customers.”

Chief executive, Craig Kreeger, said: “To truly position Virgin Atlantic for long-term and sustained success, we need to be a more efficient and agile organisation that has the ability to invest even more in the areas that make Virgin Atlantic’s customer experience unique.

“As a people-oriented business, these are extremely tough decisions to take, but we know they are necessary to secure our future.

“We are committed to supporting our people as we deliver against these plans.


“We have delivered against a successful recovery programme and now it is time to realise our full potential. We have a clear strategy in place and I am confident that we will achieve our ambition to continue to be the airline most loved by our customers.”

The airline’s plans include the introduction of wi-fi across the fleet by the end of next year and a “significant investment” across all cabins, including food, drink and other amentities.

The fleet mix is changing with the introduction of five new generation Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners with a sixth due for delivery next month. The carrier expects to have 17 787-9s in the fleet by 2018.

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