London Gatwick Airport, the UK’s second largest airport, announced on Wednesday it will cut up to 600 jobs, nearly a quarter of its workforce, as a result of the impact of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.
The company plans to carry out “a significant restructure across its business designed to further reduce operating and staff costs in light of the dramatic impact COVID-19 has had on its passenger and air traffic numbers,” it said in a press release.
The changes could result in 600 jobs being axed across the business, which is approximately 24 percent of the whole workforce, it said.
The company will now enter into a formal consultation process with employees.
In August, usually one of the airport’s busiest months, passenger numbers are over 80 percent down from a year ago.
The airport said it is operating at around 20 percent of its capacity and over 75 percent of its staff are still on the UK government’s Job Retention Scheme, which is due to end in October.
“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,” said Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport.
The CCP virus pandemic has hit the global travel industry hard.
Earlier this month, Heathrow, Britain’s biggest airport, reported an 88 percent plunge in passenger numbers from last year.
Last week, British low cost airline easyJet confirmed that three of its bases, at London Stansted, London Southend, and Newcastle, will stop operating on Aug. 31.
British travel association ABTA on Monday asked the government for “tailored support” to help the travel industry survive, as one in five jobs in the sector are estimated to have been lost or placed at risk since the start of the pandemic.
Lily Zhou contributed to this report.