A BAGGAGE handling firm is looking to cut two-thirds of its workforce at Stansted Airport due to the financial upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Stobart Aviation Services plans to lay-off 98 of its 147 members of ground crew at the airport, according to workers union, Unite.

Unite says Stobart's workload at Stansted has reduced significantly since March.

The firm was helping with 890 flights every week but is now only dealing with 157.

Further cuts are also planned at Southend and Manchester airports.

Unite claims the latest round of redundancies is "almost certainly" linked to the proposed end of the Government’s job retention scheme, which comes to an end on October 31.

The union says it has been "warning repeatedly" that the aviation industry is in desperate need of financial support to help it through the crisis.

National officer for civil air transport Oliver Richardson said: “The proposed job losses at Stobart Aviation are yet another example of why the sector needs specific support from the Government.

"Time and again we warned that this would happen. Aviation workers and this sector feel abandoned by this Government.

"With the job retention scheme scheduled to end next month, companies feel they are on a cliff edge and with passenger numbers not likely to begin to recover until next year at the earliest many feel pushed into making dramatic job cuts.

"The chancellor originally promised specific support for the aviation sector back in March and the failure to deliver on that promise has already cost thousands of workers their jobs.

"We urge him to delay not a day longer and bring forward the promised support so that more workers are not sent to the dole queue.

"Unite will ensure that our members at Stobart Aviation Services who face a highly stressful and worrying time are treated fairly."

Stobart Aviation Services has been contacted for comment.