Gatwick eyes 600 job losses in face of virus head­winds

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Oliver Gill

GATWICK air­port is to cut up to 600 jobs in re­sponse to the “dev­as­tat­ing im­pact” of Covid-19.

The re­dun­dan­cies, which rep­re­sent al­most a quar­ter of the air­port’s work­force, come af­ter pas­sen­ger num­bers fell 80pc in Au­gust. Boss 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.”

Ear­lier this month, The Daily Tele­graph dis­closed that Bri­tain’s sec­ond­bus­i­est air­port was pre­par­ing to keep one of its two ter­mi­nals shut un­til next sum­mer and told staff that re­dun­dan­cies were likely. The Sus­sex base has been hit par­tic­u­larly hard af­ter its sec­ond-big­gest cus­tomer, Bri­tish Air­ways, raised the spec­tre of con­cen­trat­ing op­er­a­tions at Heathrow and third-largest air­line Nor­we­gian slashed ser­vices.

The “sig­nif­i­cant re­struc­ture” is de­signed to “re­shape the com­pany” as it pre­pares for a long road to re­cov­ery.

A con­sul­ta­tion on the job cuts has been launched. Mr Win­gate added: “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.”

Hopes were raised in March that air­ports and air­lines would be first in the queue for an in­dus­try-spe­cific tax­payer bailout.

Rishi Su­nak, the Chan­cel­lor, namechecke­d the sec­tors as he an­nounced the Gov­ern­ment’s ini­tial eco­nomic stim­u­lus plans.

How­ever, avi­a­tion has been un­able to con­vince the Trea­sury to come up with an in­jec­tion.

Ste­wart Win­gate, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Gatwick air­port, says the job cuts pro­vide a ‘stark re­minder’

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