June 11, 2020 / 6:43 AM / a month ago

Heathrow starts voluntary redundancy scheme, can't rule out more job losses

FILE PHOTO: A member of aircrew is seen wearing a protective face mask at Heathrow Airport, as Britain launches its 14-day quarantine for international arrivals, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, June 8, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Heathrow Airport, which before the coronavirus pandemic was the busiest in Europe, said it had started a voluntary redundancy scheme after passenger numbers fell to an all-time low and it could not rule out further job losses.

Heathrow said that passenger numbers in May were down 97% and it was preparing for further declines due to Britain’s quarantine rule.

The airport, which has about 7,000 staff, said on Thursday that its employment levels were no longer sustainable and that it had agreed to start voluntary redundancy with unions.

“While we cannot rule out further job reductions, we will continue to explore options to minimise the number of job losses,” Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said in a statement.

Reporting by Sarah Young; editing by Kate Holton

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