Photo: Gatwick Airport

MIAMI – After recording an 80% drop in passenger numbers, London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW) announced today it would cut 600 jobs.

If implemented, the furloughs would represent 24% of the airport’s workforce. They are also part of a major restructuring plan to reduce operating and staff costs at the airport in the wake of COVID-19.

In March, the airport secured a £300m bank loan to prevent such cuts. However, as the pandemic floors LGW’s passenger numbers when compared to those from August 2019, the dismissals might be a necessary evil.

In today’s announcement, LGW said it would enter into a formal consultation process with employees. Currently, the airport has over 75% of its staff on the UK government’s Job Retention Scheme, which is set to end in October.

According to its last numbers, LGW is currently operating about 20% of its capacity compared to same period in last year.

August usually is one of the airport’s busiest months, Gatwick Airport South Terminal exit. Photo: Sunil060902

LGW CEO Comments on Cuts

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said that today’s announcement was a stark reminder of the devastating impact of COVID-19. According to Wingate, the airport team first shared the furlough news as possible proposed job losses.

In light of the uncertainty of such an announcement, the CEO thanked all staff for their dedicated tenacity, professionalism, and team spirit during the pandemic.

In regards to LGW’s would be remaining workforce, Wingate said the airport will continue to do all it can to preserve as many jobs as possible.

On this matter, LGW is already in talks with the UK government, expecting from the latter further support for the UK aviation sector.

Despite the job cuts being a necessary action, Wingate concluded that the organization would be fitter and stronger once it emerges from the proposed restructuring.

Featured photo: Gatwick Airport. Photo: Gatwick Airport.