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Aviation in crisis

Menzies directors take pay cut and seek support

Menzies Aviation

Menzies: seeking support

Directors and senior management at John Menzies have taken 20% pay cuts and is seeking help from the government to ensure it gets through the current health crisis.

Directors and senior management have taken 20% fee and salary reductions and headcount has been cut by 17,500 following the dramatic fall in volume.

Reductions in staff are being supported in some countries by governmental schemes and the company hopes that “in the fullness of time a high number of these employees can return to the business.”

CEO Giles Wilson said the near two centuries old company has never faced such difficult and unpredictable times.

The spread of the COVID-19 virus has increased significantly and extended across all of the company’s international operations in 34 countries.

Since 10 March international and domestic airline customers have grounded passenger flights on an “unprecedented scale’.

The number of flights handled in the past two weeks is down by over 60% and ancillary services similarly adversely impacted. The dynamics in the cargo sector are more mixed, with increases in activity in certain areas as freight customers seek to respond to underlying demand patterns, but volumes overall were down approximately 20% in the past two weeks.  

“Whilst it is clear that this disruption will have a very significant adverse impact on the Group’s financial performance in the short term, the level of continued uncertainty means that the Board has determined that it is not possible to provide financial guidance for the remainder of the current financial year.”

In the FY19 Results, a number of initiatives were set out that have already been initiated to improve the group’s financial position. These included a tight focus on cost management, the deferral of non-essential capital investment, selected asset sales and the suspension of dividend payments.

These initiatives have led to a reduction in global headcount by over 17,500 in response to the dramatic fall in volume. Reductions are being supported in some countries by governmental schemes and we hope that in the fullness of time a high number of these employees can return to the business.  

Never have we faced such difficult and unpredictable times

– Giles Wilson, Menzies

“We are engaged with the UK Government as we attempt to secure some of the emergency funding announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and await the refinement of the eligibility criteria for the COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) which we currently do not currently qualify for.

“Given the challenging backdrop described above, we are taking mitigating action wherever we can but the situation is very fluid.

“We are engaged in constructive discussions with our lending banks and we continue to review all options with regards to the Group’s overall liquidity needs to ensure we are well positioned to withstand the impact of the virus on the aviation industry.”

Giles Wilson, chief executive said: “John Menzies has existed since 1833 and been listed since 1962 but never have we faced such difficult and unpredictable times. Our industry has been one of the most affected by COVID-19 and we are doing everything we can to reduce costs whilst looking after the needs of our employees.

“I now look to our Government to support our business and for them to provide the support required to help the UK aviation sector to navigate this crisis.  For the aviation supply chain to function it requires a strong inter-reliant chain of airlines, airports and service providers.

“Without these three components of the supply chain, working together, the sector will not function. Handlers such as Menzies are therefore essential to the recovery and future success of the UK and global aviation industry.”

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