200129 airport
Heathrow Airport will be making more cuts, with up to 3,000 jobs potentially at stake. Image Credit: AP

London: Heathrow airport has begun cutting front-line jobs after a recovery in passenger numbers was delayed by Britain's introduction of a quarantine rule for incoming travelers.

Europe's busiest airport has begun to restructure after agreeing a voluntary severance plan with unions, it said in a statement. The hub has already eliminated a third of management posts.

"Throughout this crisis, we have tried to protect frontline jobs, but this is no longer sustainable," CEO John Holland-Kaye said. "While we cannot rule out further job reductions, we will continue to explore options to minimize the number."

Holland-Kaye warned previously that the introduction of 14 days of self-quarantine for arriving passengers on June 8 would trigger permanent job cuts if Britain failed to say when the policy might be lifted. He said at the time that one-third of Heathrow's 7,000 posts were at risk.

Heathrow's passenger traffic remained 97 per cent down from year-ago levels in May as the coronavirus lockdown grounded flights across most of the world. The quarantine rule means that "grim picture" is set to continue even as some airlines seek to revive flights, it said.