Newquay airport jobs threatened

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Cornwall Newquay Airport

Up to 36 jobs could be lost at Newquay Airport after it was decided that major restructuring was needed due to the loss of business caused by the coronavirus.

by Richard Whitehouse, local democracy reporter

Cornwall Newquay Airport staff were informed today of the news which comes after Cornwall Council revealed it could take ‘years’ for passenger numbers to return to pre-pandemic levels .

The affected jobs will include those in business support functions in cafes, retail, passenger services, security, airside and offices.

Corserv, the company that operates the airport and is owned by Cornwall Council, said no jobs in fire departments or air traffic control would be affected.

The company said it would seek to help those affected redeploy elsewhere in the Corserv Group.

The airport was doubly hit after the collapse of FlyBe, which was responsible for the majority of its flights, followed by the lockdown.

Flybe plane takes off in Newquay

Geoff Brown, cabinet member for transport, told a cabinet meeting this morning that a restructuring plan had been drawn up.

He said: “It is unlikely that the number of passengers before Covid will be visible for several years.

“The airport has a restructuring plan to ensure it remains viable for years to come.”

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Global problems require a tailored response from Cornwall

In a statement, Corserv, which operates Cornwall Airport Limited, said: “Since March of this year, the airline industry has experienced unprecedented uncertainty around the world. The coronavirus crisis has caused a sharp slowdown as passenger revenues plummet, air traffic declines and airlines go bankrupt. Aviation experts predict that it will take at least three years to recover from the recent disruption in the industry.

“This has, of course, had an impact on the activity planned for Cornwall Newquay Airport. While progress is being made to bounce back by finding new air carriers, we need to restructure our operations to reflect the size and scale of our business.

“The activity planned at the airport for the rest of 2020 is 80% lower than initially planned. This significant change requires us to adapt our operating practices, and these changes will result in layoffs.

“We have started consultations with our staff, but we anticipate that up to 36 employees could be made redundant. The teams where layoffs are made come from passenger services, cafes and retail, security, airside and corporate support functions. No change is planned in the numbers of our firefighting or air traffic control teams, as the operating hours of the aerodrome remain broadly unchanged.

“We appreciate that anytime layoffs are not welcome and we will support those affected throughout this process. We will do our utmost to reduce the number of layoffs and, where possible, we will provide redeployment opportunities within the Corserv group.

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