The fallout from the collapse of Thomas Cook is now resulting in serious job losses in the supply chain for its grounded airline.
Aviator, which carried out ground handling for Thomas Cook Airlines at Manchester airport, is preparing to go into administration and will cease trading on October 22 with the loss of 351 jobs.
The Unite union also understands that staff employed by ground handlers Swissport at Bristol and Menzies at Gatwick face the threat of redundancy.
The union fears that job losses in the Thomas Cook supply chain could eventually be a significant increase on the 4,000 directly employed workers who lost their jobs as result of the collapse of Thomas Cook’s airline.
Aviator said the decison was “another unfortunate outcome stemming from Thomas Cook’s recent liquidation”.
The company added: “Thomas Cook was our largest customer, accounted for approximately 70% of our service in Manchester and despite our efforts over the past two weeks, we ave now concluded that we cannot operate as a viable business supporting our only remaining customers.
“We are not the only business to be affected negatively by the Tboms Cook situation,” the company told Sky News. “This is an unfortunate circumstance thatj we deeply regret.”
The firm hopes to transfer as many staff to ther ground service operators and airlines at the airport.
Unite national officer for civil aviation Oliver Richardson said: “Thomas Cook’s airline collapse will have major implications for the supply chain. We have already seen Aviator announce they will cease trading and redundancies at other companies.
“The scale of additional job losses in the supply chain will significantly add to the numbers of losses in the airline itself.”
He added: “The potential job losses in the supply chain highlights why the government’s failure to support the airline in particular, which was profitable and which had five potential bidders, was an act of economic vandalism.
“Inevitably the taxpayer will end up paying more in redundancy payments and other legal claims as well as benefits for workers who may struggle to find new work, than was needed to keep the airline flying while a long-term solution was sort.
“The government contains to falsely claim that Thomas Cook was unsustainable but has not been able to answer how the company’s airline subsidiaries in Germany, Spain and Scandinavia have continued to fly with the support of their national government’s.”