British airline Virgin Atlantic said Tuesday it plans to cut 3,150 jobs and will move its flight program from London Gatwick to Heathrow Airport, considering the cost of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The spread of the novel coroan virus has practically brought airports around the world to a standstill, so airlines have taken drastic steps to make savings.
British Airways announced last week that up to 12,000 jobs could be lost, more than a quarter of the total, and Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic's chief executive, said the pandemic was the most devastating event in the airline's history.
"To secure our future and build a sustainable, profitable business, it is now time to take further measures to lower our costs, save cash and protect as many jobs as possible," Weiss said in a statement.
"It is crucial that we return to profitability in 2021, which means taking steps to reshape and resize Virgin Atlantic based on demand."
Virgin Atlantic said it had continued to consider all available options to obtain additional funding through discussions with the government and other stakeholders about possible support for the airline.
The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) said it was a terrible blow to the industry and called on the government to stop "spreading" and to help the aviation sector.
"The government should call for a moratorium on aviation job losses and lead a planned recovery," said BALPA Secretary-General Brian Strutton.
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