Swissport reducing U.K. staffing levels by over 50%. 20,000 jobs at risk

©Swissport

Two weeks after Swissport Belgium, part of Swissport International Ltd. filed for insolvency, ground handling company Swissport UK has announced it is reducing its U.K. staffing levels from 8,500 to under 4,000. The Swissport group of companies,  Swissport, which handles services such as passenger baggage and cargo for airlines, employed 64,000 workers worldwide prior to the pandemic.

The move comes on the back of a 75% reduction in revenue as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The chief executive of Swissport Western Europe said the cuts were necessary to “secure the lifeline of funding from lenders and investors”, describing the current situation as “the most difficult times in our company’s history.” 

The Airport Operators Association (AOA), which represents more than 50 airports, said on Wednesday up to 20,000 jobs were at risk across U.K. airports because of persistently lower passenger numbers. Swissport UK was already struggling to deal with the knock-on effects of the shutting down of Flybe, the U.K. regional carrier at the beginning of March this year. Some of Swissport’s largest operations include providing services at London’s Gatwick and Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow, alongside a host of regional airports

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