Virgin Atlantic has laid off 50 mostly senior cabin crew in Hong Kong to save costs, Sing Tao Daily reported Wednesday.
Those let go, including 17 supervisors, accounted for over half the British airline’s workforce in the city.
A letter Virgin sent to the affected employees Tuesday said, “After very careful consideration we have decided to simplify our rank structure by having one rank of cabin crew that will work across all cabins and, as a result, from 31 March 2016, we will no longer have a Senior Cabin Crew role.”
Carol Ng Man-yee, secretary general of the Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation, said that this round of layoffs mainly affected cabin crew in senior ranks, who have worked for eight to 20 years.
Ng called for the airline to increase severance payments and avoid cutting its workforce further.
In June, the airline, founded by British billionaire Richard Branson, announced it would cut about 500 support and managerial jobs as it sought to become more financially resilient.
The job cuts were to be made through layoffs, by moving staff or not filling vacancies, the carrier said.
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