Virgin Atlantic considering cutting up to 600 personnel

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Virgin Atlantic Airways is considering making 600 personnel redundant across its business in order to protect the company against the economic downturn.

It has not identified specific sectors which might be affected but Virgin Atlantic says it is consulting with staff on the issue.

"No airline is immune from the recession and we continue to reshape our business to ensure we're in the best position for the longer term," says chief executive Steve Ridgway.

"With falling demand for travel, airlines have to reduce their costs through a variety of measures including cutting capacity, freezing pay, unpaid leave and, regrettably, adjusting staff numbers."

The UK carrier's disclosure follows the recent implementation of a pay freeze across the company.

"We need to stay healthy so we're ready to grow again when economic conditions allow," says Ridgway.

Virgin Atlantic adds that it will "work closely" with staff and union representatives to protect as many jobs as possible and avoid compulsory redundancies.