London-based Gatwick Airport in the UK has announced plans to reduce around 600 job roles, which represents approximately 24% of its current employees.

The move is aimed at reducing operating and staff costs due to the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on passenger and air traffic numbers.

The proposed restructuring will reshape the company to efficiently respond to future growth.

Gatwick is set to conduct a formal consultation process with its employees regarding the plans.

Compared to last year, the airport is witnessing a fall in passenger numbers by 80% and is operating at around 20% of its capacity.

Until the coming October, over 75% of the company’s staff is on the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme.

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In March, the company undertook measures to preserve jobs by reducing costs, managing cash outflows and securing a bank loan worth £300m ($396m).

Gatwick is currently operating from its North Terminal.

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate said: “If anyone is in any doubt about the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on the aviation and travel industry then today’s news we have shared with our staff, regarding the proposed job losses, is a stark reminder.

“We are in ongoing talks with government to see what sector-specific support can be put in place for the industry at this time, alongside mechanisms which will give our passengers greater certainty on where and when they can safely travel abroad.

“Gatwick will recover from this pandemic and we will emerge from the restructuring we are proposing a fitter and stronger organisation, which is best placed to offer our passengers and our airlines a modern and innovative airport, ready for growth.”