London Heathrow to reduce front-line staff; pax numbers drop 97% in May

By Andrew Pentol |

Heathrow small newLondon Heathrow Airport has revealed that May passenger numbers reached an all-time low, dropping 97% compared to the same period last year.

Following the implementation of the government’s quarantine policy, which requires arriving passengers to self-isolate for two weeks, the airport is expecting little improvement in terms of passenger numbers in the near future.

With this in mind, the airport has begun restructuring its frontline roles, having already cut a third of managerial positions.


Moving forward, Heathrow is urging the government to establish ‘air bridges’ to low-risk countries, which will enable the United Kingdom to restart and protect aviation livelihoods and the sectors relying on it.

The aviation industry is also calling for a 12-month waiver in business for all airports in England and Wales. This would match the support given to Scottish and Northern Irish airports and the United Kingdom’s hospitality and leisure sector.

In order to reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting Covid-19 when travelling in the future, Heathrow began trialling thermal screening technology in the Terminal 2 immigration hall and Terminal 5 check-in area. These trials are part of a wider programme and could help create a Common International Standard for health screening.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye said: “Throughout this crisis, we have tried to protect front line jobs, but this is no longer sustainable. We have now agreed a voluntary severance scheme with our union partners. While we cannot rule out further job reductions, we will continue to explore options to minimise the number of job losses.”

Heathrow May 2020 passenger numbers



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