Heathrow saw only 228,000 passengers in May, 97% less than the figure seen last year, and an all-time low. The airport would be forced to lay off many employees due to that. The airport had begun to restructure its frontline roles, having a third of managerial positions already cut, according to officials.
Heathrow chief executive, 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 to 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.”
The airport is urging the government to establish ‘air bridges’
Heathrow is currently running out of two terminals and one runway, as travel demand drops during the Covid-19 outbreak. Completing the “grim picture,” Heathrow said the new quarantine policy for UK arrivals launched earlier this week would further hit demand. Thus, the airport is urging the government to establish ‘air bridges’ to low-risk countries that will enable the country to “restart its economy in earnest”.
Last month, Heathrow implemented thermal screening technology in the immigration hall of terminal two and the check-in area in terminal five. These trials are part of a wider program, seeing as how the technology could reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 when traveling in the future. It could also help create a common international standard for health screening.