Chief executive Robert Sinclair announced the cuts with "huge regret"

London City Airport axing up to 239 jobs in 'crucial' restructuring after coronavirus


London City Airport has announced plans to cut up to 239 jobs as part of "crucial restructuring plans".

Bosses said the overhaul - which is linked to falling passenger numbers - could affect 35% of roles across the organisation.

The airport suspended commercial flights at the height of the pandemic on March 25, and passenger numbers have remained well below 2019 levels since flights resumed on June 21.

Chief executive Robert Sinclair announced the cuts with "huge regret".

He said the airport is not "immune" to the "devastating" impact of the crisis.

Chief executive Robert Sinclair said: "It is with huge regret that we are announcing this restructuring programme today and our thoughts are with all of our highly valued staff and their families.

"The aviation sector is in the throes of the biggest downturn it has ever experienced as a result of the pandemic. We have held off looking at job losses for as long as possible, but sadly we are not immune from the devastating impact of this virus.

"Our focus in the coming weeks is to help all staff through this exceptionally difficult period. We are committed to playing our part in rebuilding a stronger local and national economy once the worst of the downturn passes and believe that the difficult decisions we are taking now will enable the airport to bounce back in a better shape when growth returns."
The UK's biggest airport - Heathrow - has also warned of significant job losses (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

London's Heathrow Airport has also warned up to 1,200 frontline jobs are at risk as a result of the downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bosses have started consulting with unions over pay cuts and changes to benefits, in a process which could lead to job losses.

The airport said in a statement: "Covid-19 has decimated the aviation industry, which has led to an unprecedented drop in passenger numbers at Heathrow, costing the airport over £1billion since the start of March.

"Provisional traffic figures for August show passenger numbers remain 82% down on last year and we must urgently adapt to this new reality.

"Discussions with our unions have taken place over four months and our final offer is informed by feedback we have received from them.

"But with air travel showing little sign of recovery, these discussions cannot go on indefinitely and we must act now to prevent our situation from worsening.

"We have now started a period of formal consultation with our unions on our offer, which still guarantees a job at the airport for anyone who wishes to stay with our business."

In July, Heathrow reported passenger numbers were down by more than 96% in the second quarter of the year.

Revenue fell 85% and the airport lost £471million before tax in the first six months of 2020.

Elsewhere, Gatwick said in August passenger numbers were down more than 80% on the year before, with only the North Terminal operating.

Chief executive 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."