London City Airport in the UK is set to axe up to 239 jobs, equal to around 35% of its workforce, as part of a restructuring plan.

This comes as the aviation industry struggles to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has heavily reduced flight demand.

The airport, which is the fifth-busiest airport serving the London area, has started a consultation process with staff over potential job losses and voluntary redundancies.

London City Airport CEO Robert Sinclair said: “It is with huge regret that we are announcing this restructuring programme today and our thoughts are with all of our highly valued staff and their families.

“The aviation sector is in the throes of the biggest downturn it has ever experienced as a result of the pandemic. We have held off looking at job losses for as long as possible, but sadly we are not immune from the devastating impact of this virus.

“Our focus in the coming weeks is to help all staff through this exceptionally difficult period.”

On 25 March, London City Airport suspended commercial flights when Covid-19 cases were surging. It resumed operations on 21 June and restarted international flights in July.

However, passenger numbers continue to remain below 2019 levels.

The airport has cut its non-essential spending. Last month, it postponed its £500m development programme.

Other ongoing projects, including a new taxiway, stands, security area and baggage system, will continue and are expected to be completed by the end of this year.