Published on Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Jobs threatened as Stobart Air closes Southend base

Stobart Air is to shed 130 jobs after deciding to close its base at Southend Airport.

The airline operates flights between the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and France for Aer Lingus Regional.

Union Unite claims 66 of the job losses will be in Southend.

A spokesman for Stobart Air said: "The impact of Covid-19 has had a unprecedented impact on our airline and the aviation industry globally. Over the course of the past three months, due to government restrictions, we have operated less than 5% of our normal schedule per month.

"As a result, we have taken the difficult decision to close our Southend base. We are acutely aware of the impact this decision will have on our team at Southend, and we have begun a consultation process with our team and representatives.

"We wish to acknowledge the dedication and professionalism of our talented team who have shown incredible forbearance at this unprecedented time.

"While extremely regrettable, we need to align our resources with our operations and reduce costs across the business to allow the airline to operate sustainably."

Unite regional officer Jo Jaques said the union was 'bitterly disappointed'.

"This is yet another example of why it is essential that the government brings forward specific support for the aviation industry in order to prevent further job losses and secure the future of regional airports such as Southend," she said.

A spokesman for Southend Airport said: "We are saddened to see the negative impact on yet another airline and our thoughts are with those affected.

"Whilst London Southend Airport continues to work with airline partners and prepares for reopening, it is vital that the Government supports the aviation industry in order to prevent unemployment.

"Our air bridges campaign offers a solution against quarantine and we hope this is considered to move forward."

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