ALMOST half of JD Wetherspoon’s airport bar jobs are at risk as trade remains low, the company has said.

The company said it had written to its 1,000 airport staff to warn them that between 400 and 450 of their jobs are at risk of redundancy.

The job cuts will take place at Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports.

John Hutson, JD Wetherspoon chief executive, said: “The decision is mainly a result of a downturn in trade in these pubs, linked with the large reduction in passenger numbers using the airports.”

READ MORE: Wetherspoons warns of annual loss as pandemic hits pub trade

He also said Wetherspoon will listen to its staff to reduce the number of compulsory redundancies, adding: “We should emphasise that no firm decisions have been made at this stage.”

It comes after the company announced that it was planning to make between 110 to 130 head office workers redundant.

“Wetherspoon is proposing to collectively consult with employees through an employment representative committee, which will be established for this purpose,” Mr Hutson added.

Separately, Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin said: “A curfew is a bad idea because at the moment there’s relatively low level of transmissions in pubs.”

READ MORE: Pub giant warns sales will be ‘subdued’

Wetherspoon shares closed up 1.4% at 785p.

It comes as Whitbread, owner of Beefeater and Premier Inn chains, opened consultation on axing up to 6,000 jobs. The cuts would affect 18 per cent of the total workforce across its hotel and restaurant brands, which also includes the Brewers Fayre chain.

It is hoping a “significant proportion” of the job cuts will be made through voluntary redundancy and lowered contracted hours for some staff.

Whitbread said the plans come as demand is set to remain subdued in the short to medium-term and with the Government’s furlough scheme coming to an end next month.

The job losses also come on top of cuts to reduce its head office workforce by up to a fifth, impacting around 150 jobs.

Alison Brittain, chief executive of Whitbread, said: “With demand for travel remaining subdued, we are now having to make some very difficult decisions, and it is with great regret that today we are announcing our intention to enter into a consultation process that could result in up to 6,000 redundancies in the UK, of which it is hoped that a significant proportion can be achieved voluntarily.”

Whitbread expects the majority of its 900 hotels and 350 restaurants would remain open. The firm revealed like-for-like sales fell 77.6% in the six months to August 27.

Shares in Whitbread closed 60p lower at 2,049p.