Heathrow Airport will be losing 25,000 jobs if the government does not ease the quarantine rules or establish air bridges, with in the next two weeks says the Heathrow Airport’s, Chief Executive.
As the UK has still imposed a 14-day quarantine on arrival, it is affecting the business of airlines. There is a great effect on airlines from this decision as most of the airline jobs will be lost.
Quarantine or No Quarantine
John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow Airport Holdings said a decision on cutting a third of Heathrow’s direct employees will happen. Unless steps are taken to lift the blanket regulations.
He said, “We need the government to move quickly, and in a very cool, coordinated way to. To start to reopen aviation. But at the moment we’re being held back.”
However, he said “76,000 people are employed at Heathrow. That represents one in four households in the local community. So if we start cutting jobs in masse it will have a devastating impact on local communities.”
Consequently, “There would be 25,000 people out of work. That would be a devastating blow to West London and the Thames Valley.”
Holland-Kaye said he already “Cut a third of our operating costs, cut a third of our management, but I’ve held off from cutting front line roles as long as I can.” In addition, he said, “Really waiting to see what the government is going to do to reopen borders.”
Therefore, he said, “If we start cutting jobs en masse that has a devastating impact on local communities. If I can’t see any prospect of revenue coming in. I’ve got to start significantly cutting our people costs, but I want to avoid doing that.”
Quarantine bringing the business down?
The new rule of the government announced by home secretary Priti Patel last week is that anyone coming to England must quarantine for 14 days.
The airlines were not in favor of this plan. British Airways, Ryanair and Easyjet, gave in writing that it was an unjustified and disproportionate plan.
Holland-Kaye said the UK needed to “Move away from the quarantine idea. Where basically nobody flies to something that is a little bit more targeted.”
Meanwhile, “In the short term, that is probably having air bridges which allow travel between the UK, and other low-risk countries.”
“That’s something that the Prime Minister himself has talked about. And where we really need the government to lay out his plan for air bridges very quickly. So we can start planning ahead for which countries will be opening up.”
Initially, the government does not plan to place the air bridges. But the will review the quarantine police every three weeks. Moreover, the CEO said that the UK must formulate guidelines for international health screening. So people can travel freely and safely.
He also mentioned that the average number of passengers, which is between 5000 and 7000 throughout April and May, would continue to remain the same until the government lifts the quarantine restriction.
Recovery-Not So Soon
Last year there were about 80 million passengers at Heathrow airport. Certainly, It will take a few years to get these numbers back again. These crises are leading to an economic downturn. And will consequently lead to a recession, which will last for some time.
Holland-Kaye said, “We have to plan for getting the economy back on its feet. And aviation has a vital role to play in that because we are the lifeblood of the UK economy.”
Business travel will be the last to recover from the crisis. The airport management has forecast that demand for aviation will increase once the people decide to travel but it will take time to recover back the losses.