London City airport is proposing to cut more than a third of staff to safeguard its future.
The airport has begun consultation with employees that could result in 35% of all staff – up to 239 people – losing their jobs.
The east London airport closed to commercial flights on 25 March and reopened on 21 June with sharply reduced passenger numbers.
Currently, it offers flights to 17 destinations, but its business travel customer base has been badly hit. British Airways has confirmed it will not restart its prestigious all business class New York service from London City.
The airport’s chief executive Robert Sinclair said: “It is with huge regret that we are announcing this restructuring programme today and our thoughts are with all of our highly valued staff and their families.
“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.”
Sinclair took a 30% pay cut in April and the leadership team agreed a 25% cut, while other staff were paid 100% of their wages until August under the government’s Job Retention Scheme.
The airport has already suspended building work on a £500 million terminal extension but will continue with plans for a new taxiway, more stands, bigger security area and new baggage system.
“Our focus in the coming weeks is to help all staff through this exceptionally difficult period. We are committed to playing our part in rebuilding a stronger local and national economy once the worst of the downturn passes and believe that the difficult decisions we are taking now will enable the airport to bounce back in a better shape when growth returns,” Sinclair added.