British Airways is set to temporarily suspend its operations at Gatwick airport due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
BA has cited “considerable restrictions” and a “challenging market environment” for its decision, confirmed in a statement on Tuesday (31 March).
It comes as Gatwick prepares to shut its North Terminal and consolidate all operations into its South Terminal starting Wednesday (1 April).
A BA spokesperson said: “Due to the considerable restrictions and challenging market environment, like many other airlines we will temporarily suspend our flying schedule at Gatwick. We are contacting affected customers to discuss their options.”
The carrier has confirmed essential functions will continue at Gatwick, including maintenance, towing and cleaning, to ensure it is ready to resume operations when the situation improves.
Gatwick last week confirmed it would this week consolidate operations into its South Terminal and limit runway hours “to protect staff, passengers and the business from the impact of Covid-19”.
The airport’s south runway will only operate between 2pm and 10pm owing to a “dramatic fall in airline traffic”, although it will remain open for emergency landings and diversions outside these hours.
The North Terminal will be initially closed for a month, with the closure kept under regular review. A decision on reopening the North Terminal will depend on airline traffic and government public health advice, said Gatwick.
Passengers booked on flights due to depart or arrive at Gatwick during this period are advised to contact their airline.
“Gatwick is a resilient but also responsible business, and during these extraordinary times we need to take unprecedented measures to protect the health and wellbeing of our staff and passengers, while also shielding the business from the impact of coronavirus,” said Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate.
“We will be providing some opportunities so that any of our staff, who have time during this period of reduced operations, that choose to, can help support people in our local communities.”