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EasyJet to cut thousands of jobs as airline restructures

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Only last week easyJet announced that they would resumer flying from the 15th June which would be made up of mainly UK and France routes with more to be announced as demand for the services grew.

But easyJet believes that the levels of market demand they saw in 2019 are not likely to be reached again until 2023.

Today they announced that as part of a restructuring of the business which would see a reduction of 51 aircraft from their fleet, they would be launching an employee consultation with the intention of reducing their workforce by up to 30%.

easyJet operate mainly from two large UK bases, Gatwick and Luton, but there are also indications that the airline may recover well as it has reported bookings for winter are ‘well ahead of the equivalent point last year’.

The employee consultation is expected to begin with the next few days but the airline says they are also looking at every level of the business with some areas of focus being on:

  • Airports & ground handling
  • Maintenance
  • Selling and marketing

It is too soon to predict how this could affect staff based out of Gatwick, but with a reduction of up to 30% of staff it is hard to see how the local operations could not be affected both with operations and with staffing.

Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO said:

“We realise that these are very difficult times and we are having to consider very difficult decisions which will impact our people, but we want to protect as many jobs as we can for the long-term. 

“We remain focused on doing what is right for the company and its long-term health and success, following the swift action we have taken over the last three months to meet the challenges of the virus. Although we will restart flying on 15 June, we expect demand to build slowly, only returning to 2019 levels in about three years’ time. 

“Against this backdrop, we are planning to reduce the size of our fleet and to optimise the network and our bases. As a result, we anticipate reducing staff numbers by up to 30% across the business and we will continue to remove cost and non-critical expenditure at every level.  We will be launching an employee consultation over the coming days.

“We want to ensure that we emerge from the pandemic an even more competitive business than before, so that easyJet can thrive in the future.”

Gatwick

727 easyJet pilots jobs at risk of redundancy as airline proposes closing bases at three UK airports

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BALPA, the trade union representing its UK-based pilots, says that easyJet has today informed them that 727 of their pilots are at risk of redundancy.

In addition, the airline is also proposing to completely close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports.

The potential job loss would see almost 1-in3 easyJet pilots lose their jobs in the UK.

 In November 2019 easyJet acquired Thomas Cook’s slots at Gatwick Airport (12 summer slot pairs and 8 winter slot pairs) and Bristol Airport (6 summer slot pairs and one winter slot pair) for £36 million.

Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary, said:

“We know that aviation is in the midst of the COVID crisis and we had been expecting easyJet to make an announcement of temporary measures to help the airline through to recovery.

“But this seems an excessive over-reaction and easyJet won’t find a supply of pilots waiting to come back when the recovery takes place over the next two years. easyJet paid £174m out to shareholders, got agreements to furlough staff to protect cash, got £600m from the Government, has boasted of having £2.4bn in liquidity, and ticket sales are going through the roof so fast they cannot get pilots back off furlough quickly enough – so why the panic? It doesn’t add up. We are meeting easyJet today and we will be fighting to save every single job.

“This is more evidence that aviation in the U.K. is caught in a death spiral of despair and individual airlines are flailing around without direction. BALPA repeats its call for Government to step in, provide a strategy and back a moratorium on job losses while all stakeholders sort out an holistic way forward for the whole aviation sector.”

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