Gatwick Airport plans to cut 600 jobs due to coronavirus

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Passenger numbers have fallen by 80% this summer

Gatwick Airport has revealed plans to cut a quarter of its workforce due to the impact of coronavirus.

About 600 jobs could be lost following an 80% reduction in the number of passengers.

The airport is running at about 20% its usual capacity for August, with only the North Terminal open.

Chief Executive Stewart Wingate said the cuts were a result of the “devastating impacts” coronavirus had on the airline and travel industries.

In March, the airport announced 200 jobs would be lost and it later took out a £300m bank loan. With the collapse in passenger numbers, the company said it was looking to further reduce costs.

About 75% of staff are currently on the government’s furlough scheme, which is due to end in October.

Employees will be formally consulted on the restructuring plans before any jobs are lost.

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The airport is a major employer in Crawley

“The proposed organisation redesign will reshape the company so it is best placed to respond quickly to future growth,” airport bosses claimed.

The company, which is owned by VINCI Airports and Global Infrastructure Partners, was talking to the government about support for the aviation industry and a new system to give passengers “greater certainty on where and when they can safely travel abroad,” Mr Wingate said.

Gatwick’s announcement follows the news that British Airways will make hundreds of job cuts at the airport in West Sussex.

‘Economic devastation’

Crawley council leader Peter Lamb said support was needed to stop the decline of the aviation industry, which is a major employer in the town.

He called on the government to continue the furlough scheme for industries which are affected by ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

A large number of redundancies at the airport would have a knock-on effect for any local business that “relies upon consumer spending,” he warned.

“We are talking about a generation of the town’s young people having their economic future devastated,” he added.

The Department for Transport has been contacted for comment.