Third of jobs at London City Airport could be cut because of Covid


More than a third of jobs at London City Airport could be cut as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, bosses have announced.

Airport leaders confirmed on 14 September that a consultation has begun, with 239 roles at risk – some 35% of the workforce.

Union bosses warned staff have been left “fearful for their future” at a “traumatic time”.

Like other airports, the Newham-based airport has been hit hard by Covid-19 – 90% of UK flights were grounded at the peak of the virus.

In April, just over 700 planes departed from the Britain’s ten biggest airports in a week, according to global tracker site FlightRadar24.

London City stopped commercial flights completely in late March, resuming in late June – but with numbers still well down on last year, according to bosses.

Last month, the airport shelved plans for a £500 million expansion because of the cost of the virus.

Staff have been furloughed during the pandemic, with the airport topping up wages to 100% until August, when Government support was cut back.

But the job retention scheme is due to end entirely from October, and airport chief executive Robert Sinclair said he accepted “with huge regret” that more cutbacks will be needed.

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“The aviation sector is in the throes of the biggest downturn it has ever experienced as a result of the pandemic,” he explained.

“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.”

Mr Sinclair said cuts now should help London City “bounce back in a better shape” after the worst of the crisis.

But Unite, which represents staff at the airport, said bosses should formally recognise the union if they are serious about helping employees.

Regional officer Mercedes Sanchez warned workers are “worried and fearful for their future” following the announcement.

“These latest job losses underline why it is absolutely essential that the Government brings forward a sector specific support package for aviation, including a modified job retention scheme, in order to prevent these unnecessary job losses from occurring and to protect the communities where aviation workers are based,” she said.

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