Business

Virgin Atlantic airline to cut 500 jobs

Virgin Atlantic planes Image copyright PA

Virgin Atlantic is cutting about 500 managerial and support jobs just months after the airline announced a return to profit.

The carrier, controlled by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group, said the aim was to create a simpler, more efficient structure with few management layers.

The cuts will be made through re-deployment and redundancies.

In March, Virgin Atlantic said it made a £14.4m pre-tax profit for 2014, after three years of losses.

The airline, based at Crawley, West Sussex, has not yet disclosed the locations of the job losses.

'Tough decisions'

Craig Kreeger, the airline's chief executive, said: "To truly position Virgin Atlantic for long-term and sustained success, we need to be a more efficient and agile organisation that has the ability to invest even more in the areas that make Virgin Atlantic's customer experience unique.

"As a people-oriented business, these are extremely tough decisions to take, but we know they are necessary," he said.

None of the cuts will hit frontline staff dealing with customers, Virgin said. The airline employs about 9,000 people.

Last year, Virgin Atlantic announced a £300m programme of investment, part of which will see wifi installed on all its aircraft by the end of 2016. The airline has also scrapped unprofitable routes.

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