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Layoff notices issued at Vancouver Airport as air travel expected to decline over next 3 years

People wearing face masks and goggles wait to check in for an international flight at the Vancouver International Airport on March 16, 2020.
People wearing face masks and goggles wait to check in for an international flight at the Vancouver International Airport on March 16, 2020. REUTERS/Jesse Winter

The Vancouver Airport Authority says it is laying off 25 per cent of its nearly 550-person workforce due to a dramatic slowdown in air traffic stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A workforce that was geared for an airport handling 26 million passengers a year is being reduced as the authority projects the airport will see eight to 15 million passengers per year over the next three years.

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On April 29, the airport authority offered voluntary departure packages to all employees and that process concluded last week, so Monday layoff notices went out affecting management and bargaining unit employees.

READ MORE: Vancouver International Airport announces more layoffs as COVID-19 grounds airline industry

These layoffs do not apply to the broader workforce of more than 26,000 across Sea Island in Richmond.

“I hope you can appreciate this is an extremely difficult day for all of us at the Airport Authority. Notices and phone calls will be happening throughout the day, so our focus today is on our employees and managing through this process in a respectful manner,” the Airport Authority said in a statement.

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