The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Glasgow Prestwick Airport to shed staff to offset revenue losses

GLASGOW PRESTWICK AIRPORT is planning to make up to 120 of its 500 staff redundant.

The move is designed to offset revenue losses resulting from drops in passenger and freight traffic.

Addressing staff today, Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell (pictured above) said: “We are seeing a major decline in aviation activity throughout Europe. In December the number of passengers using European airports decreased by 8% compared with the same month in 2007. Freight traffic was down 21% and the number of aircraft movements down 8% over the same period.

“Our summer schedules are still to be finalised, but at this stage we believe there will be no growth from our scheduled passenger airlines for the remainder of 2009, and that overall capacity will be less than in previous years.

“The business review process we have undertaken has led to a number of useful cost-saving initiatives being identified, however it is clear these will not be sufficient to offset the revenue losses we are experiencing with the decline in aviation activity.

“To ensure we remain competitive going forward, unfortunately redundancies will be necessary and at this stage we anticipate the number of employees will fall by between 100 and 120.

“The exact number will depend on the final summer schedules and the outcome of the ongoing consultation process. Voluntary redundancies will be considered in the first instance.

“The aim has always been to minimise redundancies, however now that we have reached this stage we believe it is right to ensure that the period of uncertainty for our employees is over as quickly as possible.

“We have been open and honest with the workforce throughout this process and measures have been put in place to offer help and support during what is undoubtedly a difficult time.”

Commenting on the news that there are expected to be up to 120 job losses at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, John Scott MSP (pictured above) said:

“The expected 100 to 120 redundancies announced to the workforce at Glasgow Prestwick Airport as a result of reduced passenger demand are a matter of the greatest regret.

“While we all know that people are flying less in these difficult economic times it is nonetheless a shock when this number of layoffs happens at our local airport.

“As the airport works to match their staffing requirement with the ability of airlines to sell seats, I have sought and received assurances that safety and security will not in any way be compromised.

“Notwithstanding my huge regret at this loss of jobs, it is now vital that the right structure be put in place to allow Glasgow Prestwick Airport to ride out the current downturn and look forward to a brighter future when air traffic again increases.”

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