"Would those of you with tickets to redundancy go immediately to Gate 5 where your aircraft is ready to depart."
This was the announcement at London City Airport this morning as the operator slashed 35 per cent of its workforce (239 jobs) as part of what is called a "crucial restructuring". There will be a number of staff-cutting measures introduced, including voluntary redundancy, and future passengers have been asked to brush up on their luggage-loading and aircraft-refuelling skills ahead of turning up at the airport to catch a flight to a place where they will be greeted with an astonished expression that says.
"What on planet Earth are you doing here?"
London City was closed for nearly three months from 25 March due to the Coro ... blah, blah, blah and resumed on 21 June when Dale Brandwich (45) from Greenwich turned up and demanded to be flown somewhere as he was about to kill his kids and needed to see the Olympic Stadium out of the window of an aircraft. He is one of very few who can convince himself that flying to Glasgow for a one hour meeting, taking in a seven hour round trip, is better than seeing Scottish people on Zoom (turning down the 'pale filter'). After the collapse of Flybe earlier this year British Airways CityFlyer has picked up the route between London City and Belfast. The regional carrier began its new five times weekly service on the morning of 7 September using Embraer E190 aircraft. The sense is that there is strong demand for the route, especially as passengers seem very willing to check their own photo ID before pushing their plane back from the stand.
The chief executive of London City Airport is Robert Sinclair and he said: "Phrrr ohjlle hosa ... something ...ghotfrin rrrbal ...", before journalists asked him to remove the six-layered facemask his Gran had made him, which he then did, repeating: "It is with huge regret that we are announcing this restructuring programme today and our thoughts are with all of our highly valued staff and their families."