UK-based Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which also owns the London Stansted and East Midlands airports, is reportedly planning to axe more than 800 jobs at its airports.

According to Reuters, the company said on Wednesday that it has initiated talks with airport unions with regard to the job cuts.

MAG is planning to cut 465 positions at Manchester Airport and 376 and 51 jobs at Stansted and East Midlands airports respectively.

The firm said that the end of the government’s furlough scheme would impact its finances.

Passenger volume has plummeted in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to MAG, its current monthly demand is said to be 75% lower than normal levels. It does not expect the overall passenger demand to fully return to normal until 2023-24.

MAG CEO Charlie Cornish said in an emailed statement to the new agency: “By now, we would have hoped to see a strong and sustained recovery in demand. Unfortunately, the resurgence of the virus across Europe and the reintroduction of travel restrictions have meant this has not happened.

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Separately, Heathrow Airport in the UK has reportedly filed an appeal against a block on its $18bn expansion plans.

In February, a court ruled against the airport’s plans for a new runway, stating that it is unlawful on environmental grounds.

However, at a virtual Supreme Court hearing this week, the airport said that the planning permission would be based on its compliance with carbon reduction obligations.

A Heathrow spokesman was quoted as saying by Reuters: “Heathrow will ensure the expansion project is compliant with the UK’s climate-change obligations, including under the Paris Climate Agreement, as part of our plans to reach net-zero carbon. We fully expect to be held to account by government through the planning process.”

Meanwhile, the UK Government is considering ways to cut down the 14-day quarantine period with the help of Covid-19 testing and self-quarantine measures.

The move comes as airlines are witnessing low travel demand due to the government-imposed self-quarantine for passengers arriving to the UK from countries such as France, Spain and the US.

UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps has reportedly set up a Global Travel Taskforce to facilitate international travel.

The task force will analyse and recommend measures the government can adopt to facilitate the safe and sustainable recovery of international travel.