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COVID-19: Airport operator to cut 4,000 jobs

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Frankfurt Airport

Fraport, the operator of Frankfurt Airport, announced plans on Tuesday to cut between 3,000 and 4,000 jobs as the crisis inflicted on the air travel industry by the coronavirus drags on.

Chief executive Stefan Schulte said in an interim report for the first half of the year that passenger numbers are still expected to languish at 15-20 per cent of 2019 levels in 2022 and 2023.

He said that this means that there will be less work for employees in the longer term.

Fraport has a current workforce of around 22,000.

The company, whose largest shareholders are the German state of Hesse and the Frankfurt city authority, is currently relying heavily on a state furlough scheme to avoid mass lay-offs.

In the second quarter, some 16,000 employees in Frankfurt were having their wages covered by the government aid programme, which was launched in response to the coronavirus crisis in March.

Working hours for the entire workforce have been reduced by 60 per cent, while operating expenses have been reduced by 30 per cent, partially thanks to terminal closures, and by as much as 40 per cent across the Fraport group as a whole.

Nonetheless, Fraport plunged deep into the red in the second quarter, posting a loss attributable to shareholders of around 182 million euros, after a 127-million-euro profit in the same period last year.

Revenue collapsed by around three quarters to 250 million euros, after air travel was brought to a near standstill earlier this year and has only slowly begun recovering. (dpa/NAN)

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