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John Menzies axes 17,500 jobs due to Covid-19

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Friday 27 Mar 2020

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Aviation services business John Menzies said on Friday that it has cut 17,500 jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic.
With the airline business hit hard by the outbreak, the company said it had made the job cuts "in response to the dramatic fall in volume".

"Reductions are being supported in some countries by governmental schemes and we hope that in the fullness of time a high number of these employees can return to the business," it said.

At the time of its 2019 results, Menzies outlined a number of initiatives to improve its financial position. These included a tight focus on cost management, the deferral of non-essential capital investment, selected asset sales and the suspension of dividend payments. In addition to this, directors and senior management have now taken 20% fee and salary reductions, it said.

The group said it is engaged with the UK government as it looks to secure some of the emergency funding announced by the Chancellor and awaits "the refinement of the eligibility criteria for the COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)," which it currently does not qualify for.

Menzies said it's in "constructive discussions" with its lending banks and continues to review all options with regards to its overall liquidity.

Chief executive Giles Wilson said: "Our industry has been one of the most affected by Covid-19 and we are doing everything we can to reduce costs whilst looking after the needs of our employees.

"I now look to our government to support our business and for them to provide the support required to help the UK aviation sector to navigate this crisis. For the aviation supply chain to function it requires a strong inter-reliant chain of airlines, airports and service providers. Without these three components of the supply chain, working together, the sector will not function. Handlers such as Menzies are therefore essential to the recovery and future success of the UK and global aviation industry."