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Vancouver airport issues layoff notices in wake of dramatic passenger level drops

YVR expects to see eight to 15 million passengers a year for the next three years, down from an expected 26 million per year
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YVR Airport has seen a radical downturn in its use in the last few weeks. Photo via Richmond News

The Vancouver Airport Authority is issuing layoff notices on Monday (May 11) as it expects to have half the passengers – or less – travelling through its gates over the next three years.

YVR is expecting its annual passenger numbers to drop from 26 million - pre-COVID-19 numbers - to between eight and 15 million. After offering voluntary departure packages at the end of April, the airport authority made the decision to next start layoffs.

The airport authority normally employs 550 people, but they plan to reduce this by 25 per cent, laying off both management and unionized workers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a program to give bridge financing – the Large Employer Financing Facility (LEEFF) – to help larger employers weather this COVID-19 crisis, but the airport authority stated because of the reduced number of passengers travelling through, maintaining the same number of employees is not sustainable.

These layoffs only affect those running the airport, not the individual businesses inside the airport, many of which are shuttered and have laid off employees.

There were 26,000 employees on Sea Island prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in a ban on non-essential travel.

Read more from the Richmond News