A vignette from better times... Virgin Atlantic has decided to shut down its Gatwick hub. Image Credit: Reuters

London: Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. will eliminate 3,150 jobs and shutter its hub at London Gatwick airport to help ride out the coronavirus crisis after struggling to secure a bailout from the UK government.

The job cuts will be discussed with unions in a 45-day consultation, the carrier founded by billionaire Richard Branson said in a statement. Flights will be focused on London Heathrow and Manchester, though Gatwick slots will be retained in expectation of an eventual recovery there, it said.

The steps are necessary to resize Virgin Atlantic for what may be a three-year slump in demand, CEO Shai Weiss said in the release. He said discussions on funding with stakeholders including the UK government are onoing and have been constructive.