Bus maker to cut 650 jobs as avi­a­tion sec­tor calls for help

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Si­mon Foy

BUS man­u­fac­turer Alexan­der Den­nis has launched a con­sul­ta­tion on plans to cut 650 jobs, as bag­gage han­dling bosses warned of “sig­nif­i­cant re­dun­dan­cies” if the sec­tor does not re­ceive be­spoke fi­nan­cial sup­port from the Gov­ern­ment.

Alexan­der Den­nis said it plans to axe 200 jobs at its site in Guild­ford, Sur­rey, 160 in Falkirk, 90 in Scar­bor­ough and 200 in sup­port func­tions across its bases.

Paul Davies, man­ag­ing direc­tor, said: “We have no choice but to im­ple­ment these tough de­ci­sions to pro­tect the com­pany’s fu­ture health.”

The warn­ing came as bosses at four of the big­gest ground han­dling com­pa­nies ser­vic­ing UK air­ports – Men­zies, Swis­s­port, Dnata and WFS – warned of fur­ther jobs pain if the sec­tor did not re­ceive gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance.

The com­pa­nies em­ploy 30,000 peo­ple across UK air­ports to carry out ser­vices from bag­gage han­dling and check-in to cater­ing and fu­elling.

In a let­ter to Trea­sury min­is­ters seen by The Daily Tele­graph, the ex­ec­u­tives called on the Gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment a tai­lored fur­lough scheme that would see han­dling com­pa­nies guar­an­tee a min­i­mum num­ber of hours per week per em­ployee, with the short­fall be­ing topped up. They added that the scheme would have an end date linked to the re­turn of pre-cri­sis flight vol­umes at which point the obli­ga­tion would switch back to the em­ployer to pay 100pc of its staff costs.

They wrote: “The im­pact of Covid-19 has been dev­as­tat­ing on the in­dus­try. Some parts of the in­dus­try have al­ready had to make sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of staff re­dun­dant due to the col­lapse in de­mand for avi­a­tion ser­vices.

“Our sec­tor is no dif­fer­ent and re­gret­tably our busi­nesses have had to en­ter into re­dun­dancy con­sul­ta­tions with a large num­ber of staff across a num­ber of UK air­ports as the de­mand for our ser­vices from air­lines has fallen by up to 90pc in some lo­ca­tions.”

On Tues­day, Sto­bart Group be­came the lat­est air­port ser­vices provider to an­nounce cuts af­ter easyJet pulled out of Stansted and Southend air­ports.

Mean­while, bus man­u­fac­turer ADL, said the job losses were in re­sponse to a sig­nif­i­cant fall in de­mand for new buses and coaches in the UK as a re­sult of the pan­demic.

It said it in­tends to trans­fer chas­sis pro­duc­tion to its Falkirk fac­tory, af­fect­ing 200 staff in man­u­fac­tur­ing and op­er­a­tional sup­port roles at Guild­ford.

Non-man­u­fac­tur­ing func­tions, in­clud­ing en­gi­neer­ing, test and de­vel­op­ment, will con­tinue at Guild­ford.

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