Virgin Atlantic tells staff to take 8 weeks unpaid leave over coronavirus

Virgin Atlantic staff will be asked to take eight weeks of unpaid leave over the next three months, to help the airline cope during the coronavirus pandemic.

The airline said in a statement: ‘This change amounts to an approximately 80% reduction in flights.

As a direct consequence we will be parking approximately 75% of our fleet by 26 March and at points in April will go up to 85%.

The airline is reducing services to focus on core routes, depending on customer demand. This will be subject to constant review as the situation evolves.

The airline is one of many to have brought in drastic measures to cope with a fall in passenger demand, due to global travel restrictions and the reluctance to travel due to the disease.

Bosses said the cost would be spread over six months’ salary to “drastically reduce costs without job losses”.

The company said they were taking the drastic measures to ‘ensure cash is preserved, costs are controlled and the future of the airline is safeguarded’.

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