In today’s update, Heathrow Airport is to switch to single runway operations from Monday, British Airways comes to an agreement to furlough 30,000 staff, BAE Systems defers its dividend payment and GE Aviation furloughs half its workers


Heathrow announces runway closure

Heathrow has announced it will shut down one of its two runways from Monday April 6 to service a dwindling number of flights due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The UK’s largest airport will temporarily operate one runway, alternating the runway in use on a weekly basis. A spokesperson for the airport said: “Although we are seeing significantly fewer flights at the moment, Heathrow will remain open so that we can continue to play a crucial role in helping to secure vital medical goods and food for the nation during this unprecedented epidemic.”

Heathrow Airport has stated that 41 per cent of the UK’s pharmaceutical products are being imported via the airport.


British Airways to furlough 30,000 employees

British Airways has come to an agreement with its unions to suspend more than 30,000 staff until the end of May.

The move will affect cabin crew to ground staff, engineers and head office employees all of which will receive 80 per cent of their pay up to £2,500 on the government’s scheme for companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

BA grounded all its planes at Gatwick this week and operations at London City Airport are also suspended.


BAE defers dividend payment decision

BAE Systems has launched cost control measures and is to defer a decision on whether to pay its dividend after seeing significant disruption to its business from coronavirus in recent weeks.

It said the coronavirus will have an impact on previous guidance for 2020, but the company could not predict the scale of the hit.

BAE confirmed liquidity was strong, with significant gross cash and access to a £2 billion revolving credit facility committed to April 2024.


GE Aviation to furlough more workers

GE Aviation has announced that it will furlough half of its US engine assembly and some component manufacturing workers for one month. The new furloughs are in addition to last week’s announcement cutting 10 per cent of its workforce and putting 50 per cent of its MRO staff on furlough for 90 days.

GE Aviation has 26,000 workers working across defence and aviation at different sites in the US.