Travel slump sees Gatwick report loss for early 2020
Despite an encouraging start to the year passenger numbers at Gatwick fell by 66 per cent in the first six month ended June 30th
This was largely due to the impact of Covid-19.
The airport remained open throughout the pandemic; however all revenue streams were impacted and the collapse in passenger demand led to a 61 per cent fall in revenue and a £321 million loss.
EBITDA at the airport fell 98 per cent over the first six months of the year.
As a result of the slowdown, Gatwick earlier this week said as many as 600 jobs would be cut.
Planned capital expenditure has also been reduced by £157 million for 2020 and £196 million for 2021.
Operational costs have been reduced by over £100 million through a variety of actions including consolidating air traffic to one terminal allowing for infrastructure shutdowns.
Gatwick Airport chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said: “Like any other international airport, the negative impact of Covid-19 on our passenger numbers and air traffic at the start of the year was dramatic and, although there are small signs of recovery, it is a trend we expect to continue to see.
“However, we are focussed on ensuring the business remains robust and is best placed to take advantage of future growth.
“As with any responsible company we have protected our financial resilience by significantly reducing our operational costs and capital expenditure.
“We are going through a proposed company-wide restructuring programme and I want to thank all my staff for their hard work to date whilst we go through this difficult time.”
To improve its liquidity, in April Gatwick secured a £300 million loan with a consortium of banks.
At the end of June, the airport held a cash balance of c.£326 million.
In line with further reducing operating costs, with over 70 per cent of all employees remaining on furlough.
“In this post Covid-19 travelling world, we are working hard with our airlines to ensure we continue to offer our customers a wide choice of destinations and carriers,” said Wingate.
“We also expect, next year, to progress our plans to bring the existing Northern (stand-by) runway into routine use which, as we rebuild our passenger numbers over the next four to five years, will enable us to offer even more travel choice.
“We will ensure we continue to deliver our operation mindful of our environmental, social and governance responsibilities.”
Gatwick currently has 18 airlines flying to 115 airports in 42 countries.