Sacked crew sue Virgin…airline says will apply local laws in suit

Sacked crew sue Virgin…airline says will deal with issue ‘in accordance with local laws’

Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) on Friday said it is aware of laws guiding employment and disengagement of workers in and outside the country, saying it plans to deal with the matter ‘in accordance with local laws’.

The airline through its spokesperson, Kudirat Scott-Igbene, is responding to the sacked crew’s suit that has been filed against over alleged improper disengagement, among other issues.

‘We are currently working closely with our local partner in Nigeria who directly employ our local cabin crew, to ensure that we can deal with this matter fairly, compassionately and in accordance with local laws”, Scott-Igbene said.

“The decision to no longer have crew based in Lagos is by no means a reflection on our locally based cabin crew”, she added.

VAA had two weeks ago,sacked all its Nigerian crew having allegedly given only three weeks notice and without any severance package to the affected staff.

This according to reports, is regardless of their length of service with the airline.

It was reported that at least, 20 Nigerian air-hostesses were affected.

“The primary purpose of our locally based cabin crew has been to provide cultural expertise, and customer feedback has shown us that this is no longer a requirement on the Lagos route.

“The additional complexity required to operate an international crew base where there are no foreign language requirement means it is no longer sustainable going forward’, Scott-Igbene added in an email to The Travel Port.

According to Wikipedia, in 2012, Virgin Atlantic carried 5.4 million passengers, making it the seventh-largest
UK airline in terms of passenger volume.

VAA globally has about 9,231 workers in its employ as at December 2014

It flies to 31 destinations with 38 aircraft in its fleet.

In the year to 31 December 2013, it reported a £51 million group pre-tax loss (approximately US
$87 million), however, in the year to 31 December 2014 the airline reported a return to
pre-tax profit of £14.4 million.

In May 2014, Virgin Atlantic ended flights to Sydney.

In September 2014, Virgin Atlantic announced plans to scrap flights to Tokyo, Mumbai, Vancouver and Cape Town and to code-share transatlantic flights with Delta Airlines .

The company was also reported to be considering axing its new ‘Little Red’ domestic airline after suffering heavy losses.

Its information Wikipedia shows further that on 6 October 2014, Virgin Atlantic confirmed that
Little Red services between London and Manchester would end in March 2015, with the
Scottish routes closing in September 2015.

Passengers used the routes from point to point as opposed to using it as a connection for
longer haul Virgin Atlantic flights.

In June 2015, Richard Branson admitted that Virgin Atlantic would be in “real trouble” without strategic support from Delta Airlnes .

With cumulative losses between 2010 and 2013 amounting to £233 million, the future of the 30- year-old airline was in doubt.

In the same month, the airline announced it would cut 500
jobs to establish a more efficient management
structure.

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