The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) has announced that it will be cutting positions at Pearson Airport in response to the significant decrease in global air traffic due to COVID-19.
The GTAA plans to reduce the airport’s workforce by 27% and cut approximately 500 positions — 200 unfilled positions and 300 positions involving voluntary departures and employee layoffs.
“This reduction in force is a difficult but necessary step, and one that we take with great sadness,” said Deborah Flint, President and CEO of the GTAA. “The leadership team and I are deeply grateful for the contributions of our employees, each of whom has been part of the success and legacy of the GTAA.”
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According to the GTAA, the pandemic has had a massive negative impact on global air travel, with Toronto Pearson passenger numbers currently at approximately 1996 operating levels.
Back in April, the GTAA reported that its passenger numbers were reduced by 97 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.
The reductions come into effect beginning today, with departures extending through fall 2020.
In addition to notice and severance packages, the GTAA says all employees will be offered career transition and employee assistance program support.
“We are dedicated to treating everyone with the greatest respect and consideration throughout this process,” said Flint.
The restructuring includes the departure of two members of the GTAA executive team: Kim Stangeby, Vice-President and Chief Strategy Officer and Interim Vice-President, Human Resources, and Scott Collier, Vice-President, Customer and Terminal Services. The GTAA will also complete a search for a new Chief Human Resources Officer.
These reductions follow several other cost-reduction measures by the GTAA has since the pandemic began, including a hiring freeze, reducing planned capital spending by $265M for 2020, and temporarily reducing executive and Board of Director salaries.
“We are committed to maintaining our operations and the health and safety of the airport as we evolve our organization to drive our recovery. I am confident that we have a capable and resilient team and the right approach to come through these challenging times with strength,” Flint added.