Airport announces lay-offs and pay cuts amid passengers drop

PUBLISHED: 08:52 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 08:52 18 March 2020

Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive Officer at Manchester Airports Group. Photo: Stansted Airport.

Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive Officer at Manchester Airports Group. Photo: Stansted Airport.

Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport has announced lay-offs and pay cuts for their staff, as well as enforced annual leave and reduced working hours.

The measures, which are said to be temporary, come as the new coronavirus pandemic saw an unusual drop in passenger flights.

Charlie Cornish, Chief Executive Officer of Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which owns Stansted Airport, said: “The COVID-19 outbreak has led to a rapid and unprecedented reduction in demand for air travel in and out of the UK, and MAG airports are seeing much lower passenger numbers as a result.

“We expect demand to return as the COVID-19 peak passes, but this temporary and dramatic downturn requires us to act now to protect our position at this critical time.

“Over the next few days we will be consulting with our colleagues and unions and introducing measures to reduce our costs and preserve the Group’s resources at this critical time. These will include enforced annual leave, reduced working hours, temporary pay cuts and temporary lay-offs. Our Executive team is taking a pay cut with immediate effect and we have frozen recruitment and paused capital expenditure.”

Mr Cornish has labelled the pandemic “the greatest threat” the UK’s travel sector has ever faced and urged the government to “take decisive action now”.

He said: “Government needs to take decisive action now to make clear its total and unwavering support for airports, airlines and other travel companies. The UK depends on air travel to support its economy. The government must stand behind the aviation industry to make sure it is still there and ready to help the economy recover once this is all over.”

The CEO has also said that the decisions taken regarding staff-related finances were not easy.

“We recognise the impact they will have on our people and we will be consulting with our colleagues. Our aim will always be to protect jobs wherever possible, and we need to take these steps now to ensure the company’s future.

“We are seeing many of our airlines and supply chain partners make similar announcements and we are doing what we need to do in the face of an unpredictable and fast-moving situation.”

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