British Airways will suspend all flights from Gatwick airport and furlough ‘many more’ staff as the new COVID lockdown bites.
In a letter to staff seen by Sky News, the airline warned that it will mean ‘moving many more colleagues, from both operational and support function areas onto the government’s extended Job Retention Scheme.’
BA, whose owner suffered a £5.1 billion loss in the first nine months of 2020, called it a ‘blow to our hopes for the winter season.’
It is the second time the airline has grounded all flights at Gatwick, the previous suspension coming shortly after the first national lockdown in March.
‘We have made the difficult decision to further reduce our operation for the rest of November.’ BA management said in its letter.
‘This means far fewer flights than we hoped for in November and means grounding more of our aircraft, including pausing all flights from Gatwick until December.’
Under new restrictions introduced in England on Thursday, overseas travel is permitted only for specific purposes such as work and study for the next four weeks.
Photographs of Gatwick today revealed a desolate terminal under the new lockdown rules.
BA will continue to benefit from Rishi Sunak’s furlough scheme after the chancellor announced a new extension to the end of March.
The Treasury pays 80 percent of wages up to £2,500 per month to help take the burden off employers.
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