Internal restructuring
United Kingdom
Location of affected unit(s)
Manchester Airport, Gatwick Airport, Heathrow Airport, Swansea Airport
Transportation / Storage
Land, Water And Air Transportation
Air Transport
51.10 - Passenger air transport

3,150 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
5 May 2020
Employment effect (start)
1 July 2020
Foreseen end date


Virgin Atlantic, the UK-based airline has announced plans to cut 3,150 jobs in the UK, which represents one third of its workforce. The compulsory redundancy consultations have already started. The restructuring plans were prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions introduced in its wake. The company will also close all of its activities at London's second airport, Gatwick International. 

Virgin Atlantic’s chief executive said that in order to save jobs, the company had to reduce its operating costs. Responding to the announcement, representatives of Balpa, the pilots' union said that the plans were "devastating" and the union will challenge the company’s proposal.

In February, before the pandemic reached the UK, the company operated 258 transatlantic flights each week. British Airways and Ryanair have also announced large scale redundancies.

The company had sought a bailout from the UK government but it was reported that this bid was hindered by the fact that US airline Delta Air Lines, which owns 49% of the company, had not injected more money, and that its British billionaire owner, Richard Branson, is not resident in the UK for tax purposes.



Eurofound (2020), Virgin Atlantic, Internal restructuring in United Kingdom, factsheet number 100962, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/100962.