London

Coronavirus: London City Airport to shut due to outbreak

London City Airport Image copyright AFP
Image caption Many airlines have been forced to ground aircraft due to a drop in demand over the coronavirus outbreak

London City Airport has announced it will close until the end of April due to the coronavirus outbreak.

All commercial and private flights will be temporarily suspended from Wednesday evening, the airport said.

Staff will still be employed and the airport will be offered to the government "to support the national effort" against Covid-19.

More than a third of all UK deaths linked to the virus have been in London.

London City is the UK's twelfth busiest airport, handling 5.1 million passengers last year.

Its location in east London puts the airport close to the capital's financial district and it is particularly popular with business travellers.

The airport is used by British Airways' business-class only flights to and from New York.

In a statement London City Airport said: "Following the government's latest instructions in response to the coronavirus outbreak, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all commercial and private flights from the airport.

"This will begin in the evening on Wednesday 25 March and is expected to last until the end of April. We will keep this under review.

"At this point in this fast-moving and unprecedented situation, we think this is the responsible thing to do for the safety and wellbeing of our staff, passengers and everyone associated with the airport."

Gatwick Airport announced last Tuesday that 200 jobs were being lost in order to "protect the business" against the impact of coronavirus.

Chief executive Steward Wingate and his team will take a 20% salary cut and waive any bonuses for the current financial year.

Piers in parts of the North and South Terminals have been closed while Gatwick copes with a drop in demand.

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