Gatwick Airport to undertake significant business restructure
As a result of the severe impact of COVID-19 on the airport, Gatwick Airport will undertake a major business restructure, putting roughly 600 jobs at risk.
London Gatwick Airport (LGW) has announced plans for a significant restructure across its business, designed to further reduce operating and staff costs in light of the dramatic impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on its passenger and air traffic numbers.
The proposed organisation redesign will reshape the company so that it is best placed to respond quickly to future growth.
The new proposals could result in roughly 600 job roles being removed from across the business, which is approximately 24 per cent of the current number of employees. The company will now enter into a formal consultation process with employees.
In August 2020 – usually one of the airport’s busiest months – passenger numbers are over 80 per cent down when compared with the numbers of passengers Gatwick Airport saw in the same month in 2019. The company took rapid action to protect the airport back in March 2020 to preserve as many jobs as it could by reducing costs, managing cash outflows and securing a £300 million bank loan.
Current traffic and passenger volumes are such that Gatwick Airport is currently operating from just its North Terminal. Compared to this time in 2019, the airport is currently operating at around 20 per cent of its standard capacity and, therefore, still has over 75 per cent of its staff on the UK government’s Job Retention Scheme, which is due to end in October 2020.
Chief Executive Officer of Gatwick Airport, Stewart Wingate, said: “If anyone is in any doubt about the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on the aviation and travel industry, then the news we have shared with our staff, regarding the proposed job losses, is a stark reminder. We are in ongoing talks with the 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 continued: “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 as a fitter and stronger organisation which is best placed to offer our passengers and our airlines a modern and innovative airport, ready for growth.”