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Gloucestershire Business News

Aviation industry hit by further blows

GKN Aerospace, which has bases in Bristol, reported a £685million pre-tax loss for the first six months as it warned of the job losses in its global business.

It comes as Heathrow airport has announced it is looking for engineering, air-side operations and security staff take pay cuts with bosses throughout the sector coming together to criticise the Government's handling of COVID-19 testing at airports.

Melrose, who bought GKN in a hostile takeover two years ago, follows the likes of Rolls-Royce and Airbus in announcing job cuts.

It announced 1,000 jobs were to go in the aerospace division, which has more than 18,000 employees in 14 countries, last September although it is believed the 4,000 UK workforce was not heavily affected by the latest losses.

A company statement said: "Consultations are well underway with employees and unions worldwide and, regrettably, a significant reduction in the worldwide workforce is inevitable in the second half of the year.

"Having ensure the strength of its balance sheet, GKN Aerospace management are currently implementing a decisive and wide-ranging programme to address the impact of the business disruption caused by COVID-19."

GKN Aerospace sales were down 18 per cent on last year over the first six months with the figure for the whole of 2020 forecasted to be 25-30 per cent.

Heathrow said it had contacted unions about the proposed pay cuts for around 2,300 staff after coronavirus had cost around £1billion since March.

It said passenger numbers were down 82 per cent during August compared with last year.

Heathrow bosses joined with senior figures at Virgin Atlantic calling for leadership on the issue of testing.

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