Virgin-Ryanair Job Cuts

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The airlines industry was hit with a wave of job cuts yesterday.

Virgin Atlantic announced 600 sackings.

Ryanair announced cuts in its summer schedule at Dublin Airport, saying they will result in the loss of 200 jobs.

These will be among pilots, cabin crew and engineers, as flights are cut.

Aircraft maintenance firm SR Technics said it plans to close its operation at Dublin Airport with the loss of up to 1,135 jobs.

Ryanair chief Micheal O’Leary blamed the Irish government’s tourist tax.

He said: ‘This Government must realise you can only promote tourism by welcoming visitors, not taxing them.’

Last week, Ryanair announced 100 job cuts at its Shannon base in the west of Ireland and also warned the knock-on effect could see another 700 support staff axed.

A Virgin Atlantic company statement said the airline ‘is currently consulting with staff about the possibility of up to 600 redundancies across the business’.

Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive Steve Ridgway said: ‘No airline is immune from the recession and we continue to reshape our business to ensure we’re in the best position for the longer term.

‘With falling demand for travel, airlines have to reduce their costs through a variety of measures including cutting capacity, freezing pay, unpaid leave and, regrettably, adjusting staff numbers.’

Maintenance firm SR Technics said it had been forced to close its Dublin operation after losing four key contracts.

Irish trade union SIPTU branch organiser Pat Ward told senior management at SR Technic that the union is willing to do its utmost to save jobs at the company’s North Dublin plant but will resist closure.

After a meeting with CEO Bernd Kessler and other top executives, Ward said: ‘We intend using the 30-day consultation process to the utmost to try and save these jobs.’

He added that the company had admitted it intended pulling out of Dublin and gave the downturn in the aviation industry as the reason.

It intended moving away from its current core business of base maintenance to other activities and this made Dublin redundant to its needs.

Ward said: ‘We expressed our disappointment to the CEO at his approach.

‘We pointed out that we had been through crises before with FLS and Team Aer Lingus but management had always been prepared to roll up their sleeves with us and tackle the issues.

‘We said we were prepared to do so again and asked them to join us in saving the plant.

‘We made it clear we were not there to discuss redundancies, that generations of workers in North Dublin had depended on the aviation industry for a livelihood, the decision to close was wrong and that we would use the 30-day consultation period to do our utmost to save the jobs.’