GTAA announces workforce reductions due to COVID-19

The workforce changes reflect the significant decrease in global air traffic, with passenger numbers at Toronto Pearson currently at approximately 1996 levels.

COVID-19 forces Toronto Pearson to reduce workforce

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) has announced it will be reducing its workforce by 27 per cent and implementing a new structure to enable a more nimble recovery.

The reduction of approximately 500 positions will be achieved through the elimination of approximately 200 unfilled positions, together with voluntary departures and redundancies totalling approximately 300 employees.

The workforce reductions follow numerous cost reduction measures that the GTAA has had to implement since the COVID-19 pandemic began, including a hiring freeze, reducing planned capital spending by $265 million for 2020, and temporarily reducing executive and board of director salaries.

GTAA has leveraged the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance programmes, and provided deferrals for eligible corporate partners.

“Our leadership team and board of directors have worked concertedly each month to navigate these turbulent times and have put our people first. This reduction in force is a difficult but necessary step, and one that we take with great sadness,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO of the GTAA. “The leadership team and I are deeply grateful for the contributions of our employees, each of whom has been part of the success and legacy of the GTAA. We are dedicated to treating everyone with the greatest respect and consideration throughout this process. We are committed to maintaining our operations and the health and safety of the airport as we evolve our organisation to drive our recovery. I am confident that we have a capable and resilient team and the right approach to come through these challenging times with strength.”

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic contraction has had, and is expected to continue to have, a negative impact on demand for air travel globally. Toronto Pearson has experienced significant declines in passengers and flight activity, as a result of travel advisories and restrictions by governments, flight and route cancellations and fleet groundings by air carriers. The reduced activity is having a significant negative impact on the GTAA’s business and results of operations, including aeronautical and commercial revenues and airport improvement fees.

The restructuring includes the departure of two members of the GTAA executive team: Kim Stangeby, Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer and Interim Vice-President, Human Resources; and Scott Collier, Vice-President, Customer and Terminal Services.

The GTAA remains focused on safeguarding the resilience and sustainability of the GTAA as it redefines the future of Canada’s largest airport.

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