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John Menzies warns of redundancies as cargo volumes plunge

UK-HEADQUARTERED handler John Menzies saw its air cargo volumes decline by 37 per cent year on year in April as a result of the coronavirus outbreak-related downturn in passenger flights

02 July 2020 - 19:00

UK-HEADQUARTERED handler John Menzies saw its air cargo volumes decline by 37 per cent year on year in April as a result of the coronavirus outbreak-related downturn in passenger flights.

In a trading update, the company said that the spread of Covid-19 has had a significant adverse impact on the group's financial performance. It said that during April and May ground handling and fuelling activity was around 75 per cent lower than 2019, with the Group's ancillary passenger airline services similarly affected. Cargo performance was 'slightly more resilient' with the 37 per cent decline.



Its freight forwarding business AMI 'continues to trade well' and in line with 2019 performance, with a 'positive outlook for the coming months'.



A recovery in flight activity is anticipated to begin from early July, the company added.



However, in the UK and Ireland, ground handling staff have been told there is a risk of redundancy. The cargo business operates differently, and it is continuing to evaluate the forecasted cargo schedules of its existing customers and the potential for new business, reports London's Air Cargo News.



'To date, we have simply advised employees whose roles are at risk of the reasons why we are considering redundancies and that we will be commencing consultation and inviting employees, where it is required to do so, to elect representatives for this purpose,' the company said in a statement.



'Once all preparatory steps have been taken then all requisite documentation relating to the proposals will be provided to the elected and trade union representatives and the formal consultation process will begin at this time.



'Given the lack of certainty as to when increased air traffic might resume, we consider that retaining employees in employment for as long as possible is consistent with our own objective, together with that enshrined in the principles of the furlough scheme, to continue to look for opportunities to redeploy and/or re-engage employees who might otherwise be redundant, thereby reducing the number of redundancy dismissals.'


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