Gatwick Airport to axe 600 jobs as passengers down 80%

Gatwick Airport has announced it is cutting 600 jobs - roughly a quarter of all its staff.

It comes after the airport announced passenger numbers were down by 80% this month compared to August 2019.

The airport said the “proposed organisation redesign” will reshape the company “so it is best placed to respond quickly to future growth”.

The proposals could result in 24% of the current number of employees losing their job.

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills breaks down the announcement

“The company took rapid action to protect the airport back in March to preserve as many jobs as it could by reducing costs, managing cash outflows, and securing a £300 million bank loan,” Gatwick said.

Gatwick is currently operating from just its North Terminal in response to the drop in demand.

Compared to this time last year, the airport is operating at around 20% of its capacity and still has more than 75% of its staff on the furlough scheme, which is due to end in October.

Passengers at Gatwick airport. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Gatwick Airport CEO 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.

"This support will not only help Gatwick but the wider regional economy which relies on the airport.

“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."