Gatwick Airport to slash 600 jobs – almost a quarter of its current workforce

Gatwick Airport is to axe 600 jobs – almost a quarter of its current workforce – because of the coronavirus pandemic

Wednesday, 26th August 2020, 2:50 pm

The business aims to further reduce operating and staff costs in light of the ‘dramatic impact’ of coronavirus on passenger and air traffic numbers with the ‘significant restructure’.

In March the airport slashed 200 jobs and bosses took a 20 per cent pay cut in a bid to reduce costs.

The airport said passenger numbers have dropped by more than 80 per cent in August when compared to 2019. The company will now enter into a formal consultation process with employees.

Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport, said: “If anyone is in any doubt about the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on the aviation and travel industry then today’s news we have shared with our staff, regarding the proposed job losses, is a stark reminder.

“We are in ongoing talks with Government to see what sector specific support can be put in place for the industry at this time, alongside mechanisms which will give our passengers greater certainty on where and when they can safely travel abroad. This support will not only help Gatwick but the wider regional economy which relies on the airport.”

The airport boss thanked staff who have worked ‘tirelessly’ to keep Gatwick open throughout the pandemic, along with those on furlough.

He added: “We will continue to do all we can to preserve as many jobs as possible.

“Gatwick will recover from this pandemic and we will emerge from the restructuring we are proposing a fitter and stronger organisation which is best placed to offer our passengers and our airlines a modern and innovative airport, ready for growth.”

A spokesman for the airport said: “The company took rapid action to protect the airport back in March to preserve as many jobs as it could by reducing costs, managing cash outflows, and securing a £300m bank loan.”

Current traffic and passenger volumes are such that Gatwick is currently operating from just its North Terminal, the firm said. Compared to this time last year, the airport is operating at around 20 per cent of its capacity and has more than 75 per cent of its staff on furlough.