London’s Gatwick Airport said on Friday that it swung to a £321m ($420m) loss in the six months to June, as it contended with a catastrophic collapse in passenger numbers and warned of longer-term impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.
Revenue plunged by 61% during the first half of its financial year, largely due to a 66% fall-off in passenger numbers during the period.
The news came after the airport on Wednesday said it needed to trim 600 jobs — or around a quarter of its workforce — so that it could reduce costs in the wake of weaker demand.
On Friday, Royal Schiphol Group, which operates several major airports in the Netherlands, said on Friday it will slash several hundred jobs from its workforce of 3,000 people.
In a trading update on the first half of its financial year, Royal Schiphol Group said it had seen a 62% drop in passenger numbers, resulting in a loss of €246m (£221m).
The group, which is majority owned by the Dutch government, owns Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, as well as airports in Rotterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven.
“Like any other international airport, the negative impact of COVID-19 on our passenger numbers and air traffic at the start of the year was dramatic and, although there are small signs of recovery, it is a trend we expect to continue to see,” said Gatwick Airport chief executive Stewart Wingate.
London Gatwick has also slashed its planned capital expenditure by £157m in 2020 and by £196m in 2021, and will also save £100m on operational spending, in part by moving flights to one terminal.
“Decisive and swift action was taken to protect the financial strength of the business, following the spread of COVID-19 in March,” the airport’s parent company said.
Wingate said that Gatwick would emerge “fitter and stronger” from from the proposed company-wide restructuring.
“Despite the immediate challenges I remain resolutely optimistic that Gatwick will recover and retain its position as one of the UK's leading travel hubs and economic driver for the region,” he said.
The airport is owned by VINCI Airports and Global Infrastructure Partners.