Swissport to cut 4,175 Baggage handler jobs

posted on 24th June 2020 by Eddie Saunders

As pressure grows on the government to produce a financial package for the aviation industry Swissport is set to make 4,175 job cuts.

“At its core, our business relies on a high volume of flights taking place. When aircraft aren’t flying, our source of revenue disappears,” Swissport’s UK and Ireland CEO Jason Holt said.

“We are grateful for the help of government support schemes, which have allowed us to take the time to properly consider our position and do everything possible to work for solutions that will protect jobs. But we now must adapt to the unfortunate reality that there simply aren’t enough aircraft flying for our business to continue running as it did before Covid-19; and there won’t be for some time to come.

“It is with regret that today we are taking steps to reduce the size of Swissport’s workforce. Of our circa 8,500 Swissport employees, we expect upwards of 4,000 will leave us, comprising around 50 per cent of our workforce.

“I want to stress that this isn’t in any way a reflection on the dedication of our teams and the quality of their work. The situation we’re facing is one shared by the whole industry. These are very challenging existential times. This is a hard decision to make, but immeasurably harder for our colleagues to hear. But it’s an essential decision if we are to keep operating and to protect as many livelihoods as possible in the long run.”

GMB and Unite, the unions which represent Swissport workers, have described the redundancies as “devastating news”.

“We can’t wait any longer, the UK government needs to urgently intervene with a bespoke financial package and an extension of the 80 per cent furlough scheme for the aviation industry” says Oliver Richardson, Unite national officer

“Speed is of the essence if the government is to save thousands of aviation jobs and livelihoods. It’s not too late.”

“This is devastating news. At least 4,000 workers, and possibly many more, will lose jobs which are essential to regional economies,” GMB national officer Nadine Houghton said.

“With Swissport now considering job cuts on this scale we have deep concerns about the viability of many of our regional airports and the benefits for regional connectivity that they bring.”