MORE than 800 jobs could be at risk in Scotland as baggage handler Swissport announced sweeping cuts at airports across the UK.

The company told staff on yesterday that up to 4,556 jobs could be lost, which is more than half its UK workforce.

Although the company would not confirm the Scottish figures, Unite Scotland said it fears up to 70 at jobs could be lost in Aberdeen, up to 300 in Edinburgh and up to 440 in Glasgow.

Jason Holt, Swissport chief executive, said the company had to reduce the size of its workforce to survive. The collapse in air travel means its revenue is forecast to be almost 50 per cent lower than last year.

READ MORE: Scottish airport jobs at risk after Flybe collapse

Mr Holt said: "This has been a very difficult decision to make, and I know it will be immeasurably harder for those who will eventually be leaving the company. But we must do it, if we are to continue operating and protect as many livelihoods as possible in the long run. Please allow me to explain how we have arrived at this decision.

"We have been hit hard by the Covid-19 outbreak, which many of you will recall began with the collapse of Flybe back in March. While some areas of the business have been busier than others, across the company revenue has almost been completely lost. As of May, it’s down by more than 75%, and we still have bills to pay."

READ MORE: Baggage handler Swissport to cut 4,556 jobs at UK airports

Pat McIlvogue, Unite regional industrial officer, said: “The announcement by Swissport is absolutely devastating news with more than 800 jobs being potentially lost at all three major Scottish airports.

"We are now witnessing the domino effect cascading throughout the civil aviation industry from cabin crew to airport workers through to baggage handlers and security staff.

"The industry is so integrated that if one domino falls - they all do. It’s an imperative that the Scottish and UK governments bring forward a tailored supportive package for the industry because if we don’t then thousands of jobs will be lost and when we come out of lockdown there will be no workers in any major Scottish airports left to support the industry getting back off the ground.”