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Second Moscow Airport Furloughs Staff as Passenger Numbers Tumble – Reports

Vnukovo International Airport. Igor Ivanko / Moskva News Agency

Vnukovo International has become the second Moscow airport to furlough staff amid plunging passenger traffic following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian media reported Monday.

The move comes less than a week after Russia’s largest airport, Sheremtyevo, announced it had furloughed one-fifth of its staff. Moscow’s second-largest airport, Domodedovo, has also introduced a part-time schedule for its workers.

Up to 2,000 employees, or one-third of Vnukovo staff, have been notified of possible layoffs if workloads continue to decrease, pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia reported Monday, citing two unnamed sources familiar with the situation.

Vnukovo’s year-on-year passenger traffic has declined by 19 percent as countries have closed their airspace to Russian planes following the country’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. 

“Vnukovo Airport is being forced to cut costs,” an unnamed representative told Russia’s Interfax news agency. 

The airport has paused recruitment and offered staff new part-time schedules, allowing them to retain their medical insurance and two-thirds of their salaries.

The Kremlin has already barred airlines from 36 countries from entering Russian territory in retaliation for bans made against Russian flights. 

The country has also halted some international flights to prevent the seizure of foreign-owned aircraft under unprecedented Western sanctions.

Meanwhile, domestic air travel has been restricted to 11 airports in southern Russia amid the ongoing war in Ukraine.

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