JD Wetherspoon has announced it could cut up to half of its jobs at its pubs in six UK airports following a heavy fall in passengers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The pub chain said it had written to its 1,000 airport staff to warm them that between 400 and 450 jobs 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,” said John Hutson, the company’s chief executive.
“We should emphasise that no firm decisions have been made at this stage,” he added, saying that Wetherspoon will listen to its staff to reduce the number of compulsory redundancies.
The job cuts will take place at Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports.
Less than two months ago the company announced that it was planning to make between 110 to 130 head office workers redundant.
“Wetherspoon is proposing to collectively consult with employees through an employment representative committee, which will be established for this purpose,” Mr Hutson added.
It comes as the government is expected to announce a 10pm curfew on pubs to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Boris Johnson will likely announce the curfew, due to start on Thursday night, later on Tuesday.
Wetherspoon’s shares had been trading down slightly on the news on Tuesday morning, but they spiked to 1.3 per cent up after the job cuts announcement.