Gatwick to reduce operating and staff costs as part of ‘significant restructure’

By Andrew Pentol |

Gatwick Airport is only operating out of the North Terminal at present.

Gatwick Airport has announced plans yesterday (26 August) for a significant restructure across its business designed to further reduce operating and staff costs in light of the dramatic impact the coronavirus (Covid-19) has had on its passenger and air traffic numbers.

The proposed organisation redesign will reshape the company so it is best placed to respond quickly to future growth.

New proposals could result in the region of 600 job roles being removed from across the business, which is approximately 24% of the current number of employees. The company will now enter into a formal consultation process with employees.

In August, which is traditionally one of the busiest months at the airport, passenger numbers dropped more than -80% compared to the same month last year.

The company took rapid action to protect the airport back in March to preserve as many jobs as possible by reducing costs, managing cash outflows and securing a £300 million/$396 million bank loan.

ONE TERMINAL IN OPERATION

Current traffic and passenger volumes mean that Gatwick is operating from just its North Terminal.

Passenger numbers dropped more than -80% in August 2020 compared to the same month last year.

 The airport is operating at around 20% of its capacity compared to this time last year and therefore still has over 75% of its staff on the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme, which is due to end in October.

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.”

He added: “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 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.”

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