Wednesday, 26 August 2020

600 jobs to go at London Gatwick Airport as part of significant company-wide restructure plan

Gatwick announces significant companywide restructure plans

 600 job losses expected

Gatwick operations confined to the North Terminal                                                photo Gatwick Airport 

The UK's aviation industry has been dealt another vicious blow as the UK's second busiest airport, London Gatwick has announced a significant restructuring across its business that could see the loss of 600 jobs.

The Sussex airport owned by VINCI Airports and Global Infrastructure Partners said it would now enter the legal consultation period with 24% of its total employees as a result of the restructuring necessitated by the downturn in business following the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. 

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have almost completely pulled out of the airport during the crisis, with no plans to establish sizable bases. Other airlines have reduced or cancelled services in and out of the airport matching passenger demand and travel restrictions and passenger numbers are down by over 80%.  Gatwick was the worlds busiest single-runway airport prior to COVID, now it operating to just 20% of its capacity. 

Gatwick took rapid action to protect the airport back in March and preserve as many jobs as it could by reducing costs, managing cash outflows, and securing a £300m bank loan. 75% of its staff on the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme, which is due to end in October. The airport also consolidated all its operations into just one of the two terminals at Gatwick, closing the South to save money.

Gatwick Airport, Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate 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.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff, those who have worked tirelessly to keep Gatwick open throughout the pandemic and those who have had to remain on furlough, for their dedicated tenacity, professionalism and team spirit.  We will continue to do all we can to preserve as many jobs as possible.

"Gatwick will recover from this pandemic."

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