Copenhagen Airports, the management company of Denmark’s primary international gateway (IATA: CPH), has announced that it is contemplating cutting 650 full-time positions from the company’s current workforce of 2,600.
A company statement said that it will be holding discussions with union representatives over the coming weeks to determine the expected redundancies. Copenhagen Airport CEO, Thomas Woldbye, said this is the saddest decision he has had to make during his nine years with CPH, but that it is necessary to safeguard the airport’s future operations and financial position.
The airport statement noted that although several countries have begun to reopen and allow air travel, the number of passengers flying this year will be well below initial expectations and there was no clear indication of when the number of travellers would return to pre-COVID-19 crisis levels.
The company said it has already introduced “a number of operational and investment cost cuts in order to align costs to the current level of activity.”
Back in June it announced cost cutting measures of DKK950 million, which can be compared to an annual income of approximately DKK4.3 billion, earned in 2019.
By using the Danish Government’s wage compensation scheme, the airport was able to temporarily furlough almost 2,200 employees, which equated to around 1.600 full-time positions that could be recalled to duty when required. It said the wage compensation scheme have given it time to evaluate its situation and reorganise its business to meet the new situation.
Mr Woldbye commented: “It’s very sad that we’ll have fewer employees at CPH. Our goal during the crisis has been to maintain as much activity and retain as many jobs as possible at the airport. The coronavirus support packages passed by the Danish parliament have made a big difference to us. In particular, thanks to the most recent extension of the wage compensation scheme, we now have more information about the travel patterns of the future and with that, we may not have to lay off as many people as would otherwise have been necessary, had the scheme not been extended. However, given the current trends in air traffic flows, I am afraid we have to accept that we are not in a position to retain the number of employees we had in pre-corona times.
“All current figures and projections indicate that air traffic is unlikely to return to its previous levels within the foreseeable future. Many sources predict that the aviation industry will not be back to normal until sometime between 2022 and 2024. That is why we’re now commencing discussions with our trade union representatives to explore how we can best align the work force at the airport to the reality that we are now facing.”