Virgin Atlantic 747
Virgin Atlantic (Virgin Atlantic)

Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic has announced plans to cut 500 jobs in its support and managerial roles by the end of the year in a bid to turn the airline as part of its shift in focus to long term improvement and resilience.

The job cuts will be achieved through a combination of natural attrition, redeployment and redundancies.

They will take place over the next few months with the whole job reduction programme expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The airline said after taking Virgin Atlantic back to profitability in 2014, it is now working to grow to record levels of sustained profitability by 2018, by shifting focus to long-term improvement and resilience, "no matter what the external environment may bring."

In a statement on 30 June, Chief Executive Officer Craig Kreeger said: "To truly position Virgin Atlantic for long-term and sustained success, we need to be a more efficient and agile organisation that has the ability to invest even more in the areas that make Virgin Atlantic's customer experience unique.

"As a people oriented business, these are extremely tough decisions to take, but we know they are necessary to secure our future. We have delivered against a successful recovery programme and now it is time to realise our full potential," he said.