British Columbia

Vancouver Airport Authority lays off 25% of its workforce

The Vancouver Airport Authority says it must begin immediate layoffs of at least a quarter of its staff following a projected downturn in the number of expected travellers over the next three years.

Around 140 employees to lose jobs as projections show steep drop in travellers over next 3 years

A passenger walks through international departures at Vancouver International Airport on March 13. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The Vancouver Airport Authority says it must begin immediate layoffs of at least a quarter of its staff following a projected downturn in the number of expected travellers over the next three years.

In a statement issued Monday, the authority said it is forecasting a decline in the number of travellers to between eight million and 15 million. Previous years had seen up to 26 million people travelling through the terminals on Richmond's Sea Island, according to the statement.

"Our current workforce is sized to operate a 26 million passenger airport, and that is simply no longer sustainable," the statement said. 

It said 25 per cent of the authority's 550-person workforce will be laid off, or around 140 employees. It said both management and bargaining unit employees are affected.

The authority had already offered what it called "voluntary departure packages" to all of its employees on April 29. 

"We are confident the steps being taken 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 statement said.

In March, Vancouver Airport Authority president Craig Richmond said around half of the airport's workforce of 26,000 — including employees in industries such as retail, food service and aircraft management — would have to be laid off.

At the time, Richmond said the authority would do everything in its power to support employees' return to work.

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