London City Airport temporarily suspends commercial and private flights

London City Airport is temporarily closed to commercial and private flights. (Photo: Ben Walsh).

Following the Government’s latest instructions in response to the coronavirus outbreak, London City Airport (IATA: LCY) has chosen to temporarily suspend all commercial and private flights. This begins on the evening on Wednesday, March 25, and is expected to last until the end of April.

The airport said it will keep its decision under review.

An airport statement said: “At this point in this fast-moving and unprecedented situation, we think this is the responsible thing to do for the safety and wellbeing of our staff, passengers and everyone associated with the airport.

“During this period, we will continue to follow official guidance and work with the authorities to understand the situation and how best to respond.

“We will keep you up to date with relevant information and news, as and when we have it.

“All our wonderful staff, who in normal circumstances work hard to help make passengers journeys as quick, easy and enjoyable as possible, will continue to be employed by the airport during this period. They will return to work as soon as it is possible to resume commercial and private flight operations.

“We are proud to be one of the largest private employers in the area and the first airport to be both London Living Wage accredited and to be recognised by the Mayor of London’s Good Work Standard. This remains the case and we look forward to continuing this important role in the future.”

Referring to its customers, it added: “We are sorry for the inconvenience that this will undoubtedly cause our passengers. Normally we are focused on making everyone’s journey in to and out of central London as quick and easy as possible. But we are sure you will agree this is a necessary step at this time for everyone’s safety and wellbeing.”

As part of the UK government’s attempts to cope with the coronavirus epidemic, a temporary hospital is being set up and the nearby ExCeL exhibition centre. A Royal Air Force C-130J transport aircraft performed a training flight to LCY on Tuesday (March 24) and it seems likely that this was in preparation for supporting the local medical teams.

The airport’s statement added: “While commercial and private flights will temporarily stop, we have offered the use of London’s most central airport to the Government in case it can be used to support the emergency services, military or other government agencies.

“We will work with the authorities to support the national effort to combat the outbreak of this virus and provide care to people in need.”

It concluded: “Like you, we are keen to get back to normal and will be playing our part to help ease the crisis.

“We are taking steps to make sure that, as soon as it is possible, the airport and our people will be ready to get you to where you want to be – connecting people with each other, businesses to opportunities and bringing tourism to London.

But for now, please follow the official guidance: stay at home and stay safe.”