Bosses at Stobart Group, who own Southend airport, have put half of their staff on Furlough amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the announcement 50 per cent of Stobart Group staff will receive 80 per cent of their wages from the Government, while directors at Stobart have taken a 20 per cent reduction in wages.

All other non-furloughed management have also taken a ten per cent reduction in wages.

A recruitment freeze has also been in put in place.

Roughly 20 aircrafts currently sit at Southend Airport, while Wizz Air and Loganair operate flights to and from the airport with a "skeleton staff."

The Holiday Inn hotel at the airport remains open and is providing accommodation for key workers in the area.

A spokesman from Stobart stated that these steps have been put in place "to protect liquidity and cashflow."

They said: "These steps have been taken both to maintain the operational capability of our core businesses and ensure they are well placed to gear back up when the recovery takes place.

"At all times we have committed, as a responsible business, to follow all Government advice.

"The safety and wellbeing of our staff and the communities we operate in have been at the forefront of the board and management's thinking.

"The cumulative effect of these actions is to preserve the group's liquidity and provide cash headroom.

"Given the level of current uncertainty, particularly regarding the potential duration of the crisis, the board is also taking prudent steps to explore further funding options."

Warwick Brady, chief executive of the Stobart Group added: "The challenges presented by the rapid spread of the Covid-19 virus have been significant.

"However, I am immensely proud and humbled by the response of our people to this global crisis.

"We have acted at pace to put in place steps to safeguard our business in the immediate term, and our people have consistently understood and supported the actions we have taken.

"Despite the current challenges presented by the Covid-19 virus, we continue to own and operate aviation and energy assets with significant underlying value. 

"There remain significant medium and long-term opportunities to further increase the value of the assets for our stakeholders.

"We are maintaining regular communication with our partners and ensuring we are well placed to get back to full operation quickly once this exceptionally challenging time has passed."