Heathrow Airport’s chief executive John Holland-Kaye was given the dire warning that 25,000 jobs may be lost at the airport if the government’s quarantine rules are not relaxed within the next two weeks.
Speaking during a podcast interview this week Holland-Kaye also 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.
“76,000 people are employed at Heathrow. That represents one in four households in the local community, so if we start cutting jobs en masse it will have a devastating impact on local communities. There would be 25,000 people out of work. That would be a devastating blow to West London and the Thames Valley. We’ve 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,”
Holland-Kaye added he was “really waiting to see what the government is going to do to reopen borders. if we start cutting jobs en masse that has a devastating impact on local communities.” He added: “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.”
Home secretary Priti Patel last week laid out new rules stating almost everyone entering England will from tomorrow have to quarantine for 14 days.
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. 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 plans for air bridges very quickly so we can start planning ahead for which countries will be opening up”.