Stricken airline Virgin Atlantic ‘will always be welcome at Gatwick’ say airport bosses
Stricken airline Virgin Atlantic ‘will always be welcome at Gatwick,’ according to airport bosses.
The airline announced this week that it was cutting 3,000 jobs and pulling out of Gatwick to operate from Heathrow because of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A Gatwick spokesman said the airport had been ‘saddened’ by Virgin Atlantic’s plans.
“We have had a long, close and successful relationship with the airline since it made its maiden flight from Gatwick back in 1984.
“Virgin Atlantic will always be welcome at Gatwick and we will continue our efforts to explore ways to restart the airline’s operations as soon as possible, in the knowledge that they intend to retain their slot portfolio at Gatwick for when demand returns.
“This news will be devastating for its staff and the many local businesses that supply and support the airline at the airport and its HQ in Crawley, however we will continue to work with Virgin Atlantic to get them flying again from Gatwick.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on the aviation sector but we remain confident that the industry will recover as air travel demand returns.
“We remain very optimistic about the long-term prospects of Gatwick Airport and our resilience as a business, and having remained open throughout this pandemic we are in a strong position to extend our current operations quickly to meet demand.
“We will continue to work closely with our other airline partners, including easyJet, the IAG Group, Wizz, TUI and Ryanair to strengthen our business for the future.
“We also welcome the recent news that another of our major airline partners – Norwegian Airways – has taken important steps forward to secure its future at Gatwick.
“We look forward to all our airlines flying again soon.”
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