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Layoffs begin at Vancouver International as passenger volumes plummet


Vancouver Airport Authority has begun issuing layoff notices to more than 100 employees of YVR

YVR anticipates passanger volumes over the coming three years to drop to as low as eight million annually

Passanger volumes at the airport were 26 million a year

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Cutbacks are officially underway at Vancouver International Airport as passenger volumes are expected to drop by as much as two-thirds over the next three years.

The Vancouver Airport Authority has begun issuing layoff notices to more than 100 employees of YVR, a move first announced at the end of last month.

While the exact number of people to be laid off has not been confirmed, YVR officials say the layoff notices will affect around a quarter of the roughly 550 people the airport authority employs directly.

The layoffs are specific to the airport itself and don’t involve the rest of the roughly 26,000 people who currently work on Sea Island.

Vancouver airport anticipates passenger volumes, with travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19, at the airport over the coming three years to drop from 26 million a year down to between eight and 15 million annually.

“We began by offering voluntary departure packages to all employees, and that process concluded last week,” said Brock Penner, with the Vancouver Airport Authority.

“Today, we are in the very tough position to issue layoff notices to many of our valued colleagues.”

Penner said the authority is aware of the Large Employer Financing Facility, announced Monday by the federal government.

“We have undergone all manner of cost-cutting and explored all options, but the tough realization is that our workforce is sized for a 26-million passenger airport, and that is no longer sustainable given our new, smaller passenger forecasts. We must align our workforce to our operational requirements.”

Both management and bargaining unit employees are affected by the workforce reductions.

“We are confident the steps being taken today will ensure we have the appropriate team in place to operate YVR now and into the future as we continue to serve our local community, industry, and British Columbians,” the airport authority says in a release.