Airlines across the world have grounded aircraft as passenger numbers collapse

British Airways has told staff its Gatwick airport operation may not reopen after the coronavirus pandemic passes.

The admission came in a memo, written by the head of BA’s Gatwick hub and seen by BBC News.

BA’s Gatwick operation, which is currently suspended, is roughly a fifth as big as its Heathrow hub.

In a separate letter to pilots, BA said it cannot rule out suspending the rest of its Heathrow operation.

In the letter, it notes that some of its rivals abroad are facing tough competition.

It adds that a quarter of BA’s 4,300 pilots are set to lose their jobs.

The letter from senior management says: “We need to ensure that our remaining operation is efficient, flexible and cost-competitive