Gatwick has announced plans for a significant restructure across its business. The move is designed to further reduce operating and staff costs in light of the dramatic impact COVID-19 have had on its passenger and air traffic numbers.
The new proposals could result in the region of 600 job roles being removed from across the business, which is approximately 24% of the current workforce. 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% down when compared with the numbers of passengers Gatwick saw in the same month in 2019. 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.
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 which 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 that will give our passengers greater certainty on where and when they can safely travel abroad. ”
Current traffic and passenger volumes are such that Gatwick is currently operating from just its North Terminal. Compared to this time last year, the airport is operating at around 20% of its capacity and therefore still has over 75% of its staff on the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme, which is due to end in October.