HUNDREDS of jobs are at risk at Scotland's airports as the crisis hitting the nation's aviation industry unfolds, a union has warned.

Up to 165 Loganair jobs are at risk at Scottish airports and would be in addition to the 100 the Scottish airline has already served notice on, according to Unite Scotland.

The nation’s four major airports will all be affected with 49 out of 153 jobs at risk in Aberdeen Airport, 26 out of 74 at risk at Edinburgh Airport, 70 out of 342 in jeopardy at Glasgow Airport and 20 out of 53 threatened at Inverness Airport, says the union. This represents around a quarter of the Loganair workforce across the four airports.

READ MORE: How Loganair continued to grow during the current crisis

Unite said it was pressing Loganair, which has a total staff of 850, to utilise the five-month extension of the furlough scheme into Spring 2021 to avert the job losses.

Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said discussions over possible redundancies are at an "early stage".

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The airline is headquartered in Glasgow but has staff at its airport hubs including Inverness, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee.

In July, the union launched a Save Scotland’s Airports campaign amid fears that more than 2,000 jobs could be lost.

The union said Scotland’s civil aviation industry faced “immense pressure” because of the pandemic and redundancy consultations at airports in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh at the time was threatening about 1,500 jobs.

The knock-on effects in the wider economy would see job losses of about 2,330, according to research conducted for the union.

The direct effect of these redundancies will be a £90 million loss to the Scottish economy, rising to £140 million when accounting for knock-on effects.

The findings followed a spate of redundancy consultations and voluntary severance schemes at Rolls Royce (Inchinnan), GE Caledonian, Spirit Aerosystems and Wyman Gordon.

Pat McIlvogue, Unite industrial officer, said: “The news of a further 165 jobs potentially at immediate risk in addition to the 100 jobs which Loganair has already served notice on is absolutely shattering.

"But, we believe that by working together we can mitigate the need for compulsory redundancies if we have positive engagement with Loganair.

"It’s essential that we explore and utilise all of the levers available to save jobs including the extension of the job retention scheme.

"Unite has repeatedly urged the Scottish Government to give greater support to an industry on life support and this announcement should send shock waves through the Transport Ministry that far more needs to be done.”

Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said:   “The latest round of Covid-related lockdowns and restrictions UK-wide has led to the recovery from the pandemic being later, and slower, than could reasonably have been expected three months ago. 

“The impact of this has been felt throughout the economy, but particularly acutely in the aviation sector. The Government’s extended furlough programme is helpful in cushioning the impact over the coming winter, but we are mindful that a recovery next year is uncertain. 

“We’ve therefore started formal consultations with our employee groups around what options are open to us should the recovery, for which we all hope, either fail to materialise or take longer to come through."

“Discussions are at an early stage, and both we and our employee groups are keen to avoid the need for any further redundancies in Loganair, albeit unfortunately we cannot absolutely rule out that possibility.” 

Last month, Celtic nation governments joined forces to demand "urgent intervention" to rescue the aerospace engineering and civil aviation sector following the job loss fears.

Unite Scotland and the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, were signatories to a letter sent to Boris Johnson appealing for action to preserve the sector which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

In September, Loganair said jobs could be at risk across its UK operation.

Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles said at the time that the coronavirus pandemic had been the "biggest ever" challenge in its 58-year history.

He said the company had been left with "no option" but to enter into a consultation process for 68 roles at risk of redundancy.

The airline said the closure of its base at Chester would be its "largest single step" with regard to the potential job losses.

A Glasgow Airport spokesman said: “The aviation industry continues to be devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic on a scale never seen before and many of our business partners are therefore facing extremely difficult decisions

“Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost during the last eight months and many more will continue to be at risk without government intervention and support. "