The UK’s Gatwick Airport has taken steps to safeguard the financial resilience of the business – and prepare it for a quick recovery – by significantly reducing costs.
Operationally, this includes closing the airport to flights between midnight and 5:30am – except for emergency landings – and closing two of the airport’s six piers. Further action can be expected.
In terms of capital expenditure, the airport is deferring spending on its investment program for the foreseeable future. Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate and his executive team will take a 20% salary cut and waive any bonus for the current financial year.
Gatwick has also taken the decision to terminate the employment of 200 staff employed on temporary fixed-term contracts and contractors. The airport is consulting with employees on further measures to reduce near-term operating costs such as options for unpaid leave or temporary salary reductions.
These unprecedented circumstances are also having a serious impact on the airport’s third-party suppliers and the airport is working closely with them to reduce expenditure.
Wingate said, “Gatwick is a resilient business, but the world has changed dramatically in recent weeks and we have been forced to take rapid, decisive action to ensure that the airport is in a strong position to recover from a significant fall in passenger numbers.
“Significantly reduced passenger numbers are likely to be sustained, at least in the short to medium term, and I need to prepare people for the news that other serious measures are likely. We also strongly urge the government to provide support in order to protect the business and the contribution it makes to the region and wider economy.”