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London City Airport Shuts Down Until May
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to engulf the United Kingdom, London City airport has announced that it will close to commercial and private traffic until at least May.
“We have made the decision to temporarily suspend all commercial and private flights from the airport,” the airport said in a statement. “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.”
The airport is closed as of March 25. Staff will still be employed and government aircraft will have access to combat the Coronavirus. Airport CEO Steward Wingate announced that he, along with other executives, will take a 20 percent salary cut and waive bonuses for the current financial year to help fund the airport when it opens back up.
British Airways’ CityFlyer is London City’s main operator. The carrier has about two dozen routes out of the airport. Of special note are flights BA1 and BA2, which connect London City with New York JFK aboard an all-business-class Airbus A318. The future of that service is uncertain and it currently has been grounded as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
British Airways already suspended its services to London City this week, though it had initially only canceled flights at the airport for two weeks. The airline says it will contact passengers to move them to flights from Heathrow or Gatwick.
Other commercial operators at London City airport include Alitalia, KLM, Lufthansa, Luxair and SWISS. The airport is also home to a number of private and business flights due to its proximity to London’s financial district.
London City’s announcement comes soon after Manchester airport condensed operations into Terminal 1, closing Terminals 2 and 3 due to decreased demand. Gatwick Airport announced layoffs and condensed operations in response to the crisis.
London City Airport is coming off one of its best years on record in 2019. It was the U.K.’s twelfth busiest airport last year with 5.1 million passengers.
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