London City airport to make more than a third of staff redundant

London City airport is to make more than a third of its staff redundant in the latest job cuts in the battered aviation sector.

The airport, situated in east London and serving a largely business clientele, has started consulting over up to 239 job losses in what it called a restructuring plan to safeguard its future.

London City shut down for three months at the height of the pandemic and, after reopening in late June, is now operating only 17 routes. Most staff were furloughed and the airport has until now avoided the kind of widespread job cuts seen elsewhere.

Quick guide

Airline and aerospace job cuts on back of Covid-19 crisis

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Airbus – 1,700 jobs
30 June: The European planemaker announced plans to cut 15,000 jobs, including 1,700 in the UK, as it warned the coronavirus pandemic had triggered the “gravest crisis” in its history.

Swissport – 4,500 jobs
24 June: Swissport, which handles passenger baggage and cargo for airlines, has begun a consultation process to make 4,556 workers redundant, more than half of its 8,500 UK workforce.

Bombardier – 600 jobs
11 June: The Canadian planemaker will cut 600 jobs in Northern Ireland, as part of 2,500 redundancies announced in June.

Rolls-Royce – 9,000 jobs
3 June: The jet-engine manufacturer has confirmed that 3,000 job cuts, of a planned 9,000 worldwide, will be made in sites in the UK.

easyJet – 4,500 jobs
28 May: The airline has announced plans to cut 4,500 employees, or 30% of its workforce, as it prepared for lower demand.

Tui – 8,000 jobs
13 May: Travel company Tui plans to cut up to 8,000 jobs worldwide in response to the coronavirus chaos engulfing the tourism industry.

Virgin Atlantic – 3,000 jobs
5 May: Richard Branson’s airline is to cut more than 3,000 jobs, more than a third of its workforce, and will shut its operations at Gatwick.

Ryanair – 3,000 jobs
1 May: The Irish airline intends to slash 3,000 roles and reduce staff pay by up to a fifth.

Aer Lingus – 900 jobs
1 May: The Irish flag carrier, part of International Airlines Group (IAG), plans to cut 900 jobs.

British Airways – 12,000 jobs
28 April: The UK flag carrier plans to make up to 12,000 of its staff redundant, a reduction of one in four jobs at the airline, with cabin crew, pilots and ground staff affected.

Meggitt – 1,800 jobs
23 April: British engineering company Meggitt plans to shed about 1,800 jobs making parts for commercial aviation.

Safran – 400 jobs
23 April: French aircraft seat maker Safran made 400 job cuts at its UK operations, including a plant in Cwmbran.

Flybe – 400 jobs
5 March: Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, collapsed into administration with the loss of more than 2,000 jobs, less than two months after a government bailout.

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The chief executive, Robert Sinclair, said: “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.”

He said the airport’s focus in the coming weeks would be to help its staff through this period, but added: “We believe that the difficult decisions we are taking now will enable the airport to bounce back in a better shape when growth returns.”

Last month the airport suspended most of its £500m redevelopment programme, including an extended terminal, bar works already under way.

The UK’s biggest airport, Heathrow, has already laid off a third of its managers and told frontline staff to accept pay cuts or further job losses, as its chief executive warned that the surrounding borough of Hounslow risked ending up like a mining town in the 1980s unless flying resumed.

Gatwick said last month it would cut 600 jobs, amid calls across the aviation sector for government help. Airlines are now not expecting passenger demand to return to normal levels until at least 2023 or 2024.

The Guardian

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