London’s Heathrow Airport announced that employment levels are no longer sustainable, as UK government launches 14-day quarantine.
- Passenger numbers in May continued at an all-time low (down 97% compared to the same time last year)
- Grim picture is set to continue thanks to the Government’s quarantine policy which requires all arriving passengers to self-isolate for two weeks. In line with this decline, the airport has begun to restructure its frontline roles, having already cut 1/3rd of managerial roles.
- Heathrow is urging the Government to establish ‘air bridges’ to low risk countries that will enable the country to restart its economy in earnest, protecting livelihoods in aviation and the sectors that rely on it.
- Comes as aviation industry calls for a 12-months waiver in business rates for all airports in England and Wales, matching the support given to Scottish and Northern Irish airports and the UK’s hospitality and leisure sector.
- Despite an increase in cargo only aircraft, overall cargo tonnage has decreased by 40% as the bulk of cargo usually travels in the belly hold of passenger planes.
- Last month, Heathrow began trialing thermal screening technology in the immigration hall of Terminal 2 and the check in area in Terminal 5. These trials are part of a wider program looking at how technology could reduce the risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19 when travelling and in future could help create a Common International Standard for health screening.
Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye, said: “Throughout this crisis, we have tried to protect front line jobs, but this is no longer sustainable, and we have now agreed a voluntary severance scheme with our union partners. While we cannot rule out further job reductions, we will continue to explore options to minimize the number of job losses.”