Gatwick to shut terminal and slash runway opening hours

Gatwick Airport has announced it will significantly scale back its operations next week amid a collapse in demand for air travel.

From April 1, the West Sussex airport will close one of its two terminals, and its runway will only be open for scheduled flights between 2pm and 10pm.

The measures will be in place for a minimum of one month.

The airport’s chief executive Stewart Wingate said: “Gatwick is a resilient but also responsible business and during these extraordinary times we need to take unprecedented measures to protect the health and well-being of our staff and passengers, while also shielding the business from the impact of coronavirus.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my staff for their continuing hard work through this difficult time and to reassure them that we are taking these difficult decisions now, so that we are in a position to recover quickly and get back to generating jobs and economic benefits for the region and wider economy well into the future.”

Gatwick is the UK’s second busiest airport, recording 47 million passengers last year.

Its runway will remain available for emergency landings and diversions outside the new opening hours.

Airlines have suspended the majority of their flights due to demand plummeting and countries around the world introducing travel restrictions in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

London City Airport closed its runway to all commercial and private flights on Wednesday.

From next week, Southend Airport will only open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays between 4.30pm and 9.30pm.