MORE THAN two thousand jobs are at risk at Southampton Airport due to coronavirus travel restrictions, it has been claimed.

Since the health crisis struck “consumer confidence has gone”, said a spokesman for the airport, who added that Southampton Airport “can’t carry on with blanket quarantines”.

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The travel bans are having a devastating impact on the industry and there could be further job cuts, warn experts.

But now airport bosses are calling for discussions with central Government.

They want to implement testing at airports to open up the industry.

A spokesperson for the airport warned that more than two thousand jobs are at risk.

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He added: “We were one of the first sectors to feel the impact. We are going to be one of the last to come out of this. It’s having a devastating impact on the industry.

“It’s a public health crisis and now it’s an economic crisis.

“We need a proper discussion on testing.”

The Daily Echo has been told the airport still plans to go ahead with the expansion of its runway.

Derek Provan, CEO of ASG Airports which runs Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton, said the sector was experiencing more job cuts amid the pandemic than seen in the coal industry in the 1980s.

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It comes as Virgin Atlantic took a step closer to implementing its rescue package, with a High Court judge signing off on the company’s £1.2 billion bailout on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Heathrow has begun consulting with unions over pay cuts in a process which could lead to job losses.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye previously called on the Government to stop imposing “quarantine roulette” on travellers, as he announced the airport had a pre-tax loss of £1.1 billion in the first six months of the year.

The airport has since unveiled a new testing programme it says could enable passengers arriving from certain countries to exit the mandatory 14-day quarantine period early.