The strict travel restrictions put in place by various governments in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have, understandably, resulted in the widespread grounding of flights.
With many of our airline partners having completed their repatriation flights and in line with passenger demand, there are now only a limited number of services available from the AGS group of airports (Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton). In light of this and to protect the health and wellbeing of all the staff who work so hard to keep our airports running, we will be introducing temporary restrictions on our operations from 1 April 2020.
To support our country’s response to this accelerating pandemic, Aberdeen and Glasgow airports will continue to support essential services. These will include lifeline links to remote communities in the Highlands and Islands, NHS and air ambulance services, and helicopters for the oil and gas industry. Southampton Airport will similarly support lifeline services to the Channel Islands. Our airports will also cater for those airlines who are continuing to operate. At this stage, it is difficult to say how long these measures will remain in place, however, we will continue to follow all government advice and keep them under constant review.
We are facing extremely challenging times and like all organisations, we have a duty of care to our staff, our business partners and to all those who use our airports. Introducing temporary operating restrictions will allow us to significantly reduce the number of staff who must travel to work.
Alongside this, we are working with our people and their trade union representatives to ensure those employees who will be furloughed during this period will have access to the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We have also proposed other measures to support the business at this time including temporary pay cuts for all staff including our Board and leadership team, an end to bonus payments, the option for staff to take unpaid leave and the option for reduced working hours.
These have been difficult decisions to take, however, I am absolutely clear they will enable us to protect jobs, protect the health and wellbeing of our employees and ensure AGS Airports is in a strong position to aid our country’s recovery when we emerge from this crisis.