Manchester Airport set to axe hundreds of jobs


Hundreds of jobs are under threat at Manchester Airport as coronavirus continues to have a devastating impact on the travel industry.

MAG, the UK's largest airport group, is proposing to cut 465 jobs at Manchester Airport, along with 376 at Stansted Airport and 51 at East Midlands Airport, following a 90% reduction in demand for travel.

Charlie Cornish, CEO of MAG, said: "By now, we would have hoped to see a strong and sustained recovery in demand. Unfortunately, the resurgence of the virus across Europe and the reintroduction of travel restrictions have meant this has not happened.

"With uncertainty about when a vaccine will be widely available, we need to be realistic about when demand is likely to recover.

"The end of the Job Retention Scheme means that we have to consider the number of roles that we can sustain at our airports.

"We will be discussing these issues with our trade unions, and consulting them fully on a range of options for reducing the size and overall cost of our workforce. We want to work with them to make sure we minimise the impact on our people as much as we can.

"I want to thank everyone across MAG for the dedication they have shown through the toughest summer our industry has ever seen. MAG and other UK airports remain fundamentally strong businesses that will play an important role in driving the country's recovery, but the specific and short term pressures of the pandemic are exceptional and particularly challenging for our sector.

"We are proud of our long-standing role in supporting communities around our airports and underpinning the employment of more than 130,000 people across the UK. We will continue to work to protect as many jobs as possible, maintain dialogue with our trade unions, and continue to make the case to Government for the direct support that UK aviation needs."

All of these proposed measures will be subject to consultation with MAG's unions and staff across Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands Airports.

Manchester Airport


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Mark Russell
Saturday 10th October 2020 at 11:28 am
This is disgusting. A direct result of our government’s flip flopping and making major errors. We need herd immunity and we have to get the economy pumping again.
Rick Andrews
Saturday 10th October 2020 at 2:11 pm
Very sad, but hardly down to UK government alone. The global aviation and tourism industry is affected in the same way. There is no where to fly to.
Mark Russell
Saturday 10th October 2020 at 5:29 pm
Hi Rick. You can fly virtually anywhere. Most countries will let you in. But no one dare go because of the stupid two week isolation on return.
Vince Chadwick
Saturday 10th October 2020 at 7:30 pm
Yes, if you want to you can sit cheek by jowl with upwards of 129 others, breathing largely recycled air for several hours, recycled through the aeroplane's aircon packs (which will add a dash of fresh air to all that old air each time it's cycled down the cabin) and your fellow passengers' lungs {which will not).

Given Covid 19's extremely contagious nature, two weeks isolation on your return would appear to make perfect sense. But in UK it's weakly enforced and even if you comply (allegedly, many don't) you might infect others on your journey home from the airport. In Australia, you'd be transported in isolation to a hotel for two weeks enforced isolation.

Which might be one explanation as to why they are doing better than us re C19 spread.
Mark Russell
Sunday 11th October 2020 at 5:06 pm
What’s needed vince is a test on return. I’m sure nobody would mind isolating for 24/48 hours on return. Then a clear test means you get on with it. This arbitrary two weeks is killing the economy
Richard Bullock
Sunday 11th October 2020 at 9:35 pm
@Mark: But if you test too early after exposure to the virus - say, if you got infected on the last day abroad, you might end up with a false-negative test. A negative test when you have (the very early stages) of the virus: meanwhile you've been going about your business for a week (or maybe a bit longer) until symtpoms emerge spreading it amongst the community, thinking you were clear.

The main reason we're in the situation we're in now, is that the virus was imported to the UK, mainly from European desinations in March, over 1,300 separate times - seeding the virus to all parts of the country. People were coming in unchecked every day. It was obvious the Govt needed to do something about it.
Michael Regan
Wednesday 14th October 2020 at 3:52 pm
Ironic really considering MAG is 35.5% owned by Manchester City Council and
29% by the other 9 Greater Manchester Councils.
David Smith
Saturday 17th October 2020 at 7:13 pm
Pease can you explain exactly what herd immunity is and how it can be achieved?
So we all then know the same as you.
Mark Russell
Sunday 18th October 2020 at 8:02 am
@david smith. According to the government over 40,000 have died from covid. (Which we all know is a massaged figure) The avg age is 82 which by chance is the average age of death in the uk. We all have to die of something, that’s a guarantee. So anyone who is vulnerable self isolates and the fit and well get on with life.

This nonsense about the nhs collapsing needs to be called out. I think the Manchester nightingale hospital saw four people admitted earlier in the year. Currently only 2% of nhs beds have covid patients in. I bet more than 2% of beds are filled by cancer patients? It’s not nice people die from covid but when we look at the carnage we have self inflicted, this is way worse than the virus could ever do. Mental health issues and suicide are on the up, but that won’t be measured v covid.

How long are we expected to live like this? 6 weeks, 6 months, 6 years?? How are we going to get a vaccine inside a year, when they have never got a vaccine for a common cold in over 100 years! It’s clear the public have had enough, yet again this weekend people turned up in 1000’s to the artisan market and did not wear masks and stay 2m apart. Both Liverpool and london have had street parties when new lockdowns came in, where is the virus ripping through those people? It’s not, because they were young and well so again proves we can live like normal. Of all the 10,000’s of students who have caught it in the last month, how many died????? I’ve not heard of one.

And again today another political figure (Tony Blair) has broken the rules. If the mps don’t think it’s important to follow the rules, that tells me they know it’s all a load of rubbish.
Different politicians are doing this for different reasons. Cheshire east are doing it to build up their bank balance, the government are just incompetent, and Labour are scoring political points.

I could go on for hours, everyone is entitled to their opinion. My opinion has been formed by watching/reading the news and looking for facts

I don’t pretend to be an expert, but nobody can debunk what I’m saying with facts and figures, the come back is always “it’s too dangerous” “the nhs will collapse”. Well I suppose I could win the lottery next sat, but I bet I won’t.
Kareem Masdoon
Sunday 18th October 2020 at 10:48 am
Vince Chadwick , I flew last month and self isolated for the full 14 days as many are. The plane was clean and half empty everyone wore masks and I did not catch Covid. My family did not contract Covid either and I was also able to be tested on my return to work. I suspect you are retired (nice pension)??? Well these poor folk losing their jobs will find life tough and harsh. I am glad I was able to do a little to support them over the summer.
Vince Chadwick
Sunday 18th October 2020 at 11:21 am
Kareem Masdoon, I guess you are relatively young and female. Low risk of your dying of covid. Lucky you.
Mark Goldsmith
Sunday 18th October 2020 at 11:29 am

I’m no expert and based on my own research, my understanding of heard immunity is that it is when the disease dies out because the majority of the population have already had it.

However, scientists are unsure if this will work with Covid-19 (you could get it twice) but based on SARS, they think that at least 50% to 80% of the UK population will have to catch Covid-19 for herd immunity to work.

So far, there have been 705,000 reported cases of Covid-19 in the UK. However, you can have the infection and have only mild symptoms, so we could assume this is only 20% of the real number. This is my guesstimate based on that we know 10-15% of those infected get very serious conditions. So overall, that means about 3.5million of us have already had Covid-19.

As the UK has a population of 70 million, it means another 32m to 53m of us must get Covid-19 for heard immunity to kick in. That is around 9 to 15 times more than now.

However, we have had 43,500 deaths from this disease already. So we also risk 9 to 15 times more deaths too. Recent medical advances means the virus is less fatal now but with that number of cases the NHS wouldn’t cope (the NHS has 141,000 beds in total). So many people will be at home with no nursing, no doctors and no medication, meaning the mortality rate would be higher than now.

So that means a possible 400,000 to 650,000 more deaths. To put some context on that, Wilmslow has a population of 30,000 people and on average 17,000 people in the UK die of flu each year (30,000 on a bad year) and 165,000 die from cancer. So, Covid-19 isn’t “just like the flu”.

Of course it could all be far less but who knows. Covid-19 is so new, there are few facts, so this is all theory. What is clear though is that any attempt at heard immunity is a massive leap in the dark that carries a high risk of a very large number of deaths.

Currently, some of the individual measures in place to try to reduce the infection rate might not work. Who knows? However, collectively these measures have clearly suppressed infection rates and they are all we have got until they develop a vaccine.

Therefore, the real question is: are we willing to risk up to 650,000 lives just because some people are bored of wearing a face mask and want a drink after 10pm?

As others have said, jobs and businesses can be rebuilt but lives can’t. Therefore, I’m following the current guidelines. Some may call me a sheep for doing this but I’d sooner be a sheep than an ostrich. Burying our heads in the sand and hoping Covid-19 will magically disappear if we do nothing isn’t an option I want to take.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Cheshire East Council
Kareem Masdoon
Sunday 18th October 2020 at 1:06 pm
Vince Chadwick ...wrong on all counts just into middle age and male ( females and male in certain age groups have equal risk from dying of Covid btw) and I am an A and E Doctor with a background in Trauma surgery. If you are scared and high risk I understand. If you are obese you should be losing weight now as this cuts your risk of Covid and other killer diseases dramatically. What is not acceptable is sniping from the sides at folk who are losing jobs in the airline industry and others whilst on a healthy pension. As a former pilot yourself I would have assumed you had just an small element of empathy for people whose livelihoods are being shattered this industry. Working in A and E over the kast few months has been a terrible insight for me personally into the cost of the lockdown. Increased suicides, self harm and people of your age who have had cancer and heart conditions missed at an earlier stage when much of the NHS was closed for business.
Kareem Masdoon
Sunday 18th October 2020 at 1:28 pm
Mr Russell is perfectly correct and not unreasonable to cite the extremely low bed occupancy of our Nightingale Hospital. To put some context on the fearmongerers panic pronouncements Liverpool's ICU's were at 95% capacity in the heavy flu season of 2017/18 (flu is highly contagious too)and I did not read any worried comnents from Councillor Goldsmith at that time. In the UK there is STILL 90% free capacity on ICU beds at the moment and whilst we are busy and on our feet (not doing Tik tok dances ;)) we are coping.
Australia is allowing no citizens out of the countryfor 2 Years unless they have a very special exemption this could be a Human Rights breach. Australia has a tiny population and is a vast country so comparisons are pointless, they have also been very heavy handed with their own citizens.
Councillor Goldsmith you have a guaranteed salary as a Councillor at the moment perhaps you too could just show a smattering of concern and empathy for those (many young and my age) whose lives and livelihoods are being decimated by harsh restrictions not known in this country for 75 years. And your flippant remark vis a vis jobs easily recovering as well as businesses starting up again takes the biscuit. Talk to some of your fellow Wilmslow residents who own a small business and are worried sick and just hanging in there. The lack of empathy is shocking "let them eat cake" eh
Vince Chadwick
Sunday 18th October 2020 at 2:54 pm
Mark Goldsmith, thank you for what seems a well thought through and reasoned assessment of the situation. It accords with what the facts I can glean (rather than the politics, obfuscations, and un-supported opinions which abound everywhere right now) are telling me.

Kareem Masdoon - Sorry about getting your gender wrong. However, 'just into middle age' is 'relatively young' in my book. Sniping? There's no sniping from me. I'm just stating some facts about the risks of taking an airline flight under current conditions. It might help someone make an informed decision as to whether to fly or not. While I have a great deal of sympathy for those financially adversely affected by the pandemic, no amount of empathy changes the facts. Michael O'Leary will tell you flying is perfectly covid-safe, but he would, wouldn't he.

I am well aware of the problems of the non-covid unwell to whom the NHS seems to have closed its doors at the moment. Dentists seem to have gone into hibernation, too, but at least I can still get a hair cut. Here is the experience a friend of mine with a long-tern serious health condition as posted on Facebook this morning:-


"For two days, although more than a tad unwell, I soldiered on - mainly asleep for 48 hours but on Friday I realised that medical advice was needed. My attempt to get that advice started at 0800 and ended at 1930.

Nearly an hour waiting in the queue on the phone to my Health Centre, whilst they told me that my call would be triaged by a health professional interspersed by the most annoying over-loud and mind-numbingly repetitive muzak. When I eventually got through the response was "There are no appointments, call NHS 111". That's some triage, not even a single medical question.

I did and eventually got though to 111 around 1300. They said a Doctor would need to call me back and, I assume, they did - I received three "number withheld" calls which cut off immediately I answered. To their credit, they must have realised that there was a problem because they eventually called me back from their Liverpool Call Centre when the whole triage questions started again.

They said I needed to speak to my own surgery and that they would arrange an appointment if we called the surgery (my son had arrived by then, I'd had enough) as they apparently have that power. My son did and was told that the Duty GP would call back within the hour. Ninety minutes later he called again, only to be told that by mistake the message hadn't been passed on to the Doctor, the surgery was now closed (it pretty well has been since March!) and that we should call back on Monday.

At this point my son called the Out of Hours Emergency Service. This was around 1900, they said a physical examination was definitely needed, an appointment made for 1930 and I was seen by a real live face to face Doctor - who'd have thought these days?

We haggled a bit as he wanted me to be admitted to hospital there and then, it was a 50/50 choice, but I managed to convince him that their gourmet level of catering was not exactly to my taste and, under strict conditions of when and if I was to go directly to A&E if the home treatment didn't work, I came home.

I know that C-19 has changed things, but even so why should it take eleven hours to get advice, even if that, quite correctly, turns out to be "take two aspirin and go to bed"? Something needs changing and that right speedily."


That sorry tale looks like a serious breakdown in administration rather than an overloaded NHS front line to me. But then, that's just my opinion. ;-)
Kareem Masdoon
Sunday 18th October 2020 at 8:50 pm
Vince sorry to hear about your friend and I hope he gets the help he truly needs . Sadly the GP service is patchy, out own Wilmslow Health Centre is fantastic but regrettably there are other practices where the GPS have effectively shut up shop and seem to be in hiding. At A and E we are seeing the results of this as some patients arrive with conditions should have been dealt with by their GP but the GP has let them down. People need to complain loudly about this as Covid or no Covid it is totally unacceptable.
Kathryn Blackburn
Monday 19th October 2020 at 11:16 am
Lockdown only prolongs the misery. The majority of those at serious risk of dying from this virus are not stupid in this country they are taking the relevant precautions. Those that are not at risk should be allowed the choice to get on with their lives and to run the economy.