Socialist Worker

Air sell-off faces cash crisis

Issue No. 1784

ONE OF the government's flagship privatisation schemes is on the verge of collapse just seven months on. The New Labour government sold 46 percent of the NATS air traffic control service to a private consortium including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Ministers said the sell-off would improve the service and save money.

Seven months on, the firm is on the verge of financial collapse. Nats bosses are threatening to axe one in five jobs and slash contributions to its workers' pensions. Job cuts will threaten safety in the skies. NATS is also demanding a £300 million bail-out from New Labour.

'A Railtrack of the skies, a privatisation that couldn't possibly work-absolutely crazy,' is how air traffic controller Chris Rogers describes what has happened.

The answer is simple, there should be no bail-out for British Airways and Virgin. Air traffic control should be renationalised now.

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Sat 26 Jan 2002, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1784
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