EasyJet to cut 4500 jobs

Updated: Jul 9, 2020

EasyJet has said it will cut up to 30% of its workforce as it struggles with a decline in air travel caused by the coronvirus pandemic.

The airline did not say how many jobs would go , but it employed 15,000 people at the start of 2020.

The redundancies mean key British flight operators have announced as many as 22,500 job cuts since the crisis began. They are a further sign that what was a golden age for air travel has come to a crashing halt.

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren, 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.

Pilots' union Balpa reacted angrily, describing the move as an "ill-considered knee-jerk reaction".

"EasyJet staff will be shocked at the scale of this announcement and only two days ago, staff got a 'good news' message from their boss with no mention of job losses, so this is a real kick in the teeth," said Brian Strutton of Balpa.

EasyJet, which has big operations at Gatwick and Luton airports, confirmed it would restart flights on 15 June.

Lindsey Olliver, the EasyJet officer for the Unite union, said the airline had made "an unnecessarily hasty decision".

She added: "The workforce is currently furloughed under the government's job retention scheme and the airline will continue to receive support until at least October.

Meanwhile, airlines have also been critical of the UK government's plan to force visitors to quarantine on arrival from 8 June, warning of the further damage it would cause the ailing sector. Holidaymakers, will be told to isolate for 14 days or face a £1,000 fine.

EasyJet also announced that by the end of next year it expects to have reduced its fleet size by around 51 aircraft to approximately 302.

This will be achieved through measures such as delaying new aircraft arrivals.

The airline said that bookings for winter are "well ahead of the equivalent point last year", partly due to some customers rebooking flights which were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, tour operator Tui has said all its holidays for UK customers will now be suspended until at least the end of June. It had previously cancelled all trips up to 11 June.

Jet2holidays has also suspended its holidays until 30 June.

The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to advise against all but essential international travel.

EasyJet reaffirmed that it would be introducing security measures to protect against the spread of coronavirus when it resumes flights.

These include requiring passengers and crew to wear masks and not offering on-board meals.