Major UK Aviation Job Cuts

Business recession due to Covid

The coronavirus pandemic is severely affecting the UK economy since it started in early 2020. All the sectors are suffering losses and many companies in all sectors have laid off or furloughed employees. However, the industry was planning on about 100,000 job cuts during the pandemic.

On the other hand, the government’s furlough policy was helping millions of people to still get their pay. But once it is over then many people will be without a job.

However, in the UK many big companies have laid off thousands of employees. In total, UK companies are set to make a collective 85,840 job cuts due to coronavirus. And they are cutting 120,840 roles overall.

List of the UK Aviation firms that have cut jobs due to the pandemic.

British Airways

The airline cut almost 12,000 jobs this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, this has been a major long-lasting shock for the airline. The airline had to ground most of the flights for months and it was not sure when travel is going to return to the same as 2019.

As a result, British Airways announced that it was holding consultations to cut 12,000 jobs, leading MPs to brand it a “national disgrace”.

Virgin Atlantic

The airline has at least cut 3,000 jobs amid the pandemic. Richard Branson’s airline was working very hard last year to be recognized as “second flag carrier,” behind arch-rival British Airways.

However, now the airline is struggling to survive the COVID-19 crisis, which is causing it to cut 3,000 jobs. The airline has pulled out its operations from Gatwick Airport due to low demand in air travel.

Chief executive Shai Weiss said, “We have weathered many storms since our first flight 36 years ago. But none has been as devastating as Covid-19 and the associated loss of life and livelihood for so many.”

In June Virgin Atlantic announced that it is resuming operations to 17 destinations. And called on the government to scrap its 14-day quarantine for inbound travelers.


Easyjet has become one of the strongest performers in UK aviation in recent years. Like other airlines, Easyjet was not flying for nearly three months causing it to cut jobs. The airline cut about 30 percent of its staff which is equal to 4,500 jobs.

Easyjet boss Johan Lundgren said, “We realize that these are very difficult times and we are having to consider very difficult decisions which will impact our people, but we want to protect as many jobs as we can for the long-term.”


Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary announced that the airline will be cutting 3,000 jobs. Because he said that foreign airlines such as Lufthansa have had more support than Ryanair.

“Air France and Lufthansa are subsidy junkies hoovering up state aid,” he said in an interview. Ryanair employees who have still have their jobs at the airline will have to face pay cuts as much as one-fifth of their salaries.

Heathrow Airport

The number of passengers dropped at the UK’s main international airport for several months. It was down by 97 percent as compared to last year.

It has already cut about 500 managerial jobs but has launched a voluntary redundancy scheme for the rest of its workforce. About one-third of its 7,000 strong workforce is at risk.

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