Airport facing months without passengers due to coronavirus

Edinburgh Airport could be facing three months without passengers.

Airport facing months without passengers due to coronavirus Getty Images

Edinburgh Airport has warned it could have no passengers for three months due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, the airport said the “unprecedented situation” would mean “extremely tough decisions” would have to be taken.

There are around 7,000 workers on site, with around 750 employed by the airport.

These include security and IT staff, air-side operatives and bus drivers.

A consultation next week will look at options including unpaid leave and a shorter working week for staff to deal with losses incurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: “There is no denying that the coronavirus situation is having an immediate and direct impact on our business and many others across Scotland and the rest of the world.

“As an airport we are facing an unprecedented situation, looking at the potential of three months of zero or close to zero passenger demand.

“We have spent the last few weeks looking at how we deal with the immediate and longer term effects and unfortunately that means taking some extremely tough decisions as the industry continues to react. This is not an easy process for anyone involved and it is one we wish we did not have to consider.

“We will do all we can to protect our people who are at the heart of the airport and we will continue to communicate changes to our staff and will work with them to ensure the airport continues to operate as effectively as possible.”

Unions have previously warned that up to 1,000 baggage handlers and other airport workers in the UK are at risk of losing their jobs following the collapse of airline Flybe, in part due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The GMB said ground crew jobs were under threat at a number of airports including Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

Responding to the possibility of job losses at Edinburgh Airport, David Avery from the Prospect union said: “When profitable and growing airports like Edinburgh are struggling, it shows just how much of a challenge aviation is facing over the next few months.

“Prospect will be working with the airport to try and ensure our members are protected as much as is possible, to look at alternative measures and minimise the need for compulsory redundancies.

“We are calling on both the Scottish and Westminster governments to put in place measures to support the aviation industry during the current corona pandemic to ensure that airport workers and airports are protected during the current downturn.”

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