Pictured: Manchester airport

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) – which owns Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports – plans a range of measures to cut costs during the coronavirus crisis.

It will consult staff about enforcing annual leave and reducing working hours, as well as temporary pay cuts and temporary lay-offs.

The group’s executive team is taking an immediate pay cut, while freezing recruitment and pausing capital expenditure.

Charlie Cornish, MAG chief executive, said: “The Covid-19 outbreak has led to a rapid and unprecedented reduction in demand for air travel in and out of the UK, and MAG airports are seeing much lower passenger numbers as a result.

“We expect demand to return as the Covid-19 peak passes, but this temporary and dramatic downturn requires us to act now to protect our position at this critical time.

“Over the next few days we will be consulting with our colleagues and unions and introducing measures to reduce our costs and preserve the group’s resources at this critical time.

“These are difficult decisions for MAG and they have not been taken lightly.

“It is too early to predict with any accuracy the long-term effects of this crisis. We are seeing many of our airlines and supply chain partners make similar announcements and we are doing what we need to do in the face of an unpredictable and fast-moving situation.

“This outbreak is the greatest threat the UK’s travel sector has ever faced.

“Government needs to take decisive action now to make clear its total and unwavering support for airports, airlines and other travel companies.

“The UK depends on air travel to supports its economy. The government must stand behind the aviation industry to make sure it is still there and ready to help the economy recover once this is all over.”

Click here to see the statement in full.