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Wetherspoon to cut almost half of airport pub jobs

JD Wetherspoon has reportedly written a letter to 1,000 staff employed at six of its airport locations, warning that around 450 roles may cut

According to the BBC, the pub group said that a serious downturn in the aviation industry and lack of holiday-makers travelling through airports this summer has impacted the profitability of its airport venues specifically.

Wetherspoons also promised it will take into account staff suggestions on how to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies.

The caution has come on the same day as Whitbread, owner of Premier Inn and competitor pub chain Beefeater, announced 6,000 job losses.

Leaders at Wetherspoons have already spoken out about the risks to hospitality jobs In the face of lockdown curfews and the approaching end of the furlough scheme (31 October).

JD Wetherspoon’s owner Tim Martin released a statement last week which claimed that pubs remain “low-risk” sites and have been victims of “unfair” news headlines and government restrictions.

He also warned that enforced pub closures would hit the industry hard.

JD Wetherspoon chief executive John Hutson told the BBC: “The company has written to 1,000 people employed in its pubs at six airports (Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow) to inform them that a possible 400 to 450 positions are at risk of redundancy.

“The decision is mainly a result of a downturn in trade in these pubs, linked with the large reduction in passenger numbers using the airports. We should emphasise that no firm decisions have been made at this stage.”

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