Copenhagen airport to lay off quarter of staff

COPENHAGEN (AFP) – Copenhagen airport said yesterday it may lay off a quarter of its staff as it is forced to confront the massive drop in passengers due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The operator of Scandinavia’s largest airport said the layoff of 650 employees was being considered “in order to secure its long-term competitive strength”.

Copenhagen Airports said it would open discussions with union representatives to determine the final number of jobs to be cut.

“It’s very sad that we’ll have fewer employees at CPH,” Chief Executive Thomas Woldbye said in a statement, referring to the airport using its International Air Transport Association (IATA) code.

“Our goal during the crisis has been to maintain as much activity and retain as many jobs as possible at the airport,” he added. Cutting 650 jobs would reduce expenses by around EUR45 million per year.

Copenhagen Airports lost about EUR31 million in the first half of the year and it expects an even deeper loss for the second half.

Air traffic slowed to a trickle for several months as nations imposed lockdowns to stem the spread of the coronavirus, and while airlines resumed some services they are still far below pre-crisis levels.

Last month, the IATA said global air traffic will not return to levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic until at least 2024.

On Monday, the operator of Frankfurt airport Fraport announced between 3,000 and 4,000 job losses, or around 15 per cent of its staff.

At the end of June, Swissport, which describes itself as the world leader in airport ground services and cargo handling, said it plans to cut 4,000 jobs at the airports it operates in Britain.