Mar 16, 2020 - Economy

Virgin Atlantic asks staff to take 8 weeks unpaid leave amid coronavirus cuts

Virgin Atlantic written on a building.

Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images

Virgin Atlantic announced Monday that it would ask staff to take eight weeks of unpaid leave as it faces shrinking demand and route reductions amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: The spread of the novel coronavirus "has accelerated the sharp and continual drop in demand for flights across Virgin Atlantic’s network, meaning immediate and decisive action is needed," the airline said. It announced it will reduce flights per day by about 80% — including terminating its route between Newark and London Heathrow — and park about 75% of its fleet by March 26.

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