The owner of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports is cutting operations following a widespread grounding of flights.

The two Scottish airports will continue to support essential services, including lifeline links to remote communities in the Highlands and Islands, NHS and air ambulance services, and helicopters for the oil and gas industry.

Southampton airport will support lifeline services to the Channel Islands, according to AGS Airports.

The temporary restrictions will be introduced from Wednesday.

AGS chief executive Derek Provan said: “Our airports will also cater for those airlines who are continuing to operate.

“At this stage, it is difficult to say how long these measures will remain in place, however, we will continue to follow all government advice and keep them under constant review. 

“We are facing extremely challenging times and like all organisations, we have a duty of care to our staff, our business partners and to all those who use our airports.

“Introducing temporary operating restrictions will allow us to significantly reduce the number of staff who must travel to work.” 

Trade unions are being consulted to ensure staff who will be furloughed during this period have access to the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme.

“We have also proposed other measures to support the business at this time including temporary pay cuts for all staff including our board and leadership team, an end to bonus payments, the option for staff to take unpaid leave and the option for reduced working hours,” Provan added. 

“These have been difficult decisions to take, however, I am absolutely clear they will enable us to protect jobs, protect the health and well-being of our employees and ensure AGS Airports is in a strong position to aid our country’s recovery when we emerge from this crisis.”