Daily Management Review

British Airways Might Not Reopen Its Gatwick Operations Post Covid-19 Pandemic


British Airways Might Not Reopen Its Gatwick Operations Post Covid-19 Pandemic
The extent to which the coronaviurs pandemic has hit the global airline industry was reflected in reports that suggested the British Airways may not reopen its Gatwick airport operation at all even after the coronavirus pandemic passes, according to a communication from one of the largest airlines of the world to its staff.
According to a news report by BBC, this information was communicated in a a memo written by the head of BA's Gatwick hub.
The operations of BA at Gatwick airport is almost one fifth of the airline’s operation at its Heathrow hub.
The airlines even said that it could not rule out suspending the rest of its Heathrow operation, in a separate letter to pilots, claimed the BBC report. Some of its rivals abroad are facing tough competition, the airlines noted in the letter. Jobs of a quarter of the 4,300 pilots of the airlines are set to be axed, the airlines added in the letter.
"We need to ensure that our remaining operation is efficient, flexible and cost-competitive to enable us to survive in an increasingly lean and unpredictable industry,” says the letter from senior management, according to the BBC.
"As you know, we suspended our Gatwick flying schedule at the start of April and there is no certainty as to when or if these services can or will return," says the memo to the airlines staff at the Gatwick airport.
A collapse of its business because of the novel coronavirus pandemic will force the company to cut up to 12,000 jobs from its 42,000-strong workforce, the premier British airlines company said on Tuesday.
Until demand for air travel returns to 2019 levels, there was need to impose a "restructuring and redundancy programme", said the airline's parent company, IAG.
It was "devastated", said the pilots' union Balpam, and added that it will fight "every single" job cut.
The Gatwick airport has been used for its flights by British Airways for decades now. Prior to the merger of the BEA and the BOAC in 1974, which formed the British Airways, the Gatwick airport as a flight hub was used by the BEA flew with its first flight out of the hub in 1950.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the business of airlines as well as plane makers has been hard to counter for both the linked industries. Its decision of furloughing 3,200 of its staff at its north Wales site was announced by European airplane maker Airbus on Monday. Further, in a letter to the staff on the same day, the company’s chief executive Guillaume Faury warned that the company was "bleeding cash at an unprecedented speed" and asked the company’s 135,000 staff to brace for potentially deep job cuts. He also questioned the very existence of the company without any immediate action.