UPDATE 1-Virgin Atlantic plans 1,150 more job cuts after completing rescue deal

LONDON, Sept 4- Virgin Atlantic plans 1,150 more job cuts due to a slow recovery in demand, the airline said on Friday after completing a restructuring plan designed to keep it going through the coronavirus crisis. The airline, which is 51% owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and 49% by the U.S.’ s Delta Air Lines Inc, has already cut more than 3,500 jobs to contend…

LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Virgin Atlantic plans 1,150 more

job cuts due to a slow recovery in demand, the airline said on

Friday after completing a restructuring plan designed to keep it

going through the coronavirus crisis.

The airline, which is 51% owned by Richard Branson’s VirginGroup and 49% by the U.S.’s Delta Air Lines Inc, hasalready cut more than 3,500 jobs to contend with the falloutfrom the pandemic, which has grounded planes and hammered demandfor air travel.

“After the sacrifices so many of our people have made,further reducing the number of people we employ isheart-breaking but essential for survival,” Chief Executive ShaiWeiss said.

Virgin Atlantic confirmed the completion of its 1.2 billionpound ($1.59 billion) rescue deal on Friday, after a Londoncourt gave it the go-ahead earlier in the week, but said itneeded to go further.

The airline said it was entering a company-wide consultationon the job reductions, which fall across all functions, andwould discuss the cuts with trade unions Unite and the BritishAirline Pilots Association.

Travel restrictions on British nationals going to the UnitedStates had been in place much longer than anticipated, VirginAtlantic said, adding the outlook for transatlantic routes wasthat current skeleton operations would not be extended until2021.

Transatlantic flying is 70% of Virgin Atlantic’s network,and the airline called on Britain to replace its policy oftravellers having to quarantine for 14 days, with testing.

“It’s clear that the introduction of passenger testing isthe only way to enable the removal of travel restrictions andopen up flying to key markets, while protecting public health,”Weiss said.(Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison)

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