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Gatwick cuts 200 staff and shuts runways over health crisis

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Passengers determined to avoid the coronavirus before leaving the UK arrive at an eerily quiet Gatwick Airport yesterday

Passengers determined to avoid the coronavirus before leaving the UK arrive at an eerily quiet Gatwick Airport yesterday

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Passengers determined to avoid the coronavirus before leaving the UK arrive at an eerily quiet Gatwick Airport yesterday

Gatwick Airport has announced job losses and runway closures in a bid to cut costs.

The airport has said it has terminated the employment of some 200 staff, including contractors and workers on fixed-term contracts.

Its runway will be suspended between midnight and 5.30am with immediate effect except for emergency landings.

Two of its six piers - which connect terminals with aircraft - will be closed. The full impact of the global travel restrictions on Northern Ireland's airports is not yet known.

Yesterday Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said the airline is continuing to operate its scheduled programme, with aircraft flying empty from the UK so that the firm can bring customers home. "Of course, the health and safety of our customers is our number one priority at Jet2.com and Jet2holidays," he said.

"We're also acutely aware of our responsibility as an award-winning airline to look after our customers and provide them with the very best experience."

Belfast Telegraph