Coronavirus: Gatwick airport “will take five years to recover”

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Reuters

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Passenger numbers increased from over 20 million to seven million


It will take “four to five years” for passenger numbers to return to pre-pandemic levels, Gatwick airport said.

West Sussex Airport saw a 61.3% drop in revenue and a loss of £ 321million between January and June, compared to the same period in 2019.

The forecast comes two days after the announcement of 600 job cuts following an 80% drop in passenger numbers.

Chief Executive Officer Stewart Wingate said Covid-19 had had a “dramatic” impact.

‘Hard time’

The company’s half-year results, released earlier, showed profit before tax and interest fell 98.3%.

The number of passengers increased from 22.2m to 7.5m during the same period.

In the statement, the airport said the restructuring plan “would better align activity with passenger and air traffic forecasts.”

Mr Wingate, however, said there were “small signs” of recovery.

He added: “As with any responsible business, we have protected our financial resilience by significantly reducing our operational costs and capital expenditures. ”

He thanked the staff for their hard work “as we go through this difficult time”, and said he remained “optimistic that Gatwick will recover and retain its position as one of the UK’s main travel hubs”.

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