British Airways, like many worldwide airlines, is suffering at the hands of the coronavirus.
The airline has announced that 12,000 staff will, unfortunately, be laid off from its workforce. This represents a more than a quarter of its workforce.
With much of its fleet grounded, and little chance of air travel returning to pre-virus levels any time soon, the airline and its employees are facing a difficult future.
Now, according to the BBC, the airline has told employees in a memo that it may not resume flying from its London Gatwick base.
Before the virus, around 20% of British Airways’s operations were from Gatwick. This was operated by the Airbus A320 family and Boeing 777 fleets to destinations in Europe and the Americas.
Now, with operations in the future set to be at a much smaller level than in the past, it seems the airline no longer needs the extra capacity and slots that Gatwick provides. It will choose to focus what’s left of its hub operations at Heathrow, which is much more valuable to passengers.
In the memo to Gatwick’s staff, the company says: “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.”
London Gatwick – the world’s busiest single-runway airport – is still pushing ahead with plans to develop its reserve runway into regular operation to allow it to handle more aircraft per hour. However, it seems that with an uncertain future from British Airways and Norwegian – two of its biggest operators – it may not be necessary for a number of years.