Close to 100 jobs could be lost at Exeter Aiport

The jobs of staff across several areas at the airport could be at risk Credit: ITV News West Country

Almost 100 jobs could be lost at Exeter Airport, with the owner of the site blaming the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis as the cause.

A consultation has begun with workers employed in a wide range of roles, including baggage handlers, air traffic control, ground crew, security and the fire station.

The process is likely to last several weeks with 96 jobs understood to be at risk.

Bosses say the cut is to ensure the airport's long-term survival after the pandemic Credit: ITV News West Country

Parent company the Rigby Group, which owns the airport, says it needs to ensure the long term sustainability of its operation in the face of a new reality that commercial aviation will not recover to pre-Covid-19 levels for some time.

A spokesperson for Exeter Airport said: “The aviation industry is one of the hardest hit by travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and Exeter Airport is not immune."

The union which represents most of the workers in line for redundancy has called on bosses to work constructively to lessen the impact of job losses.

News of the cuts is the latest blow to the airport after the collapse of Exeter-based airline company Flybe Credit: ITV News West Country

It's been a difficult year for the airport following the collapse Exeter-based airline Flybe.

But it hasn't been all bad news. Since Flybe's demise, the airport has announced some new daily flights. There are also hopes that post covid, other airline operators will confirm plans to fly from Exeter.

There are also moves for a new 'freeport' to be centred on the site to boost the region's economy after Brexit. If those plans materialise then many thousands of job could be created in the area.

The Blue Islands airline confirmed earlier this month that they would be introducing new flights at the airport Credit: Devon Live

John Stevenson, spokesman for Prospect the union, which represents most of those facing redundancy, said: "Our membership is going through a consultation now. We believe this is a hasty decision. The JRS and furloughing is still in place and will be to October."

"We are still awaiting significant information from the airport itself and call on them to fully engage and be more transparent in its future plans."

He said the union thought it would be well into August before the consultation was concluded.