easyJet to cut staff levels by up to a third amid market downturn

The budget airliner will also downsize its fleet of planes.

easyJet has announced its intention to cut staffing levels by up to 30 per cent as it attempts to weather market turmoil.

The company, which recently took out loans totalling around £400 million, said it would soon launch an employee consultation process on its proposals to make thousands of its staff redundant.

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easyJet employed more than 15,000 people at the start of 2020.

easyJet has announced its intention to cut staffing levels by up to 30 per cent as it attempts to weather market turmoil.

The budget airliner also said it expects its fleet to constitute around 302 aircraft by the end of 2021 - 51 fewer than it initially anticipated.

It said it predicts that the level of demand for its flights seen in 2019 are not likely to be reached again until 2023 at the earliest.

New “biosecurity” measures

The company also said it was introducing new “biosecurity” measures to help keep passengers and staff safe on its flights.

The measures include:

Customers, cabin and ground crew will be required to wear masks Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of easyJet aircraft Availability of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitiser onboard Initially, no onboard food service

Reopening flight schedules

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easyJet said it would begin increasing its scheduled flights in line with demand, but said the initial schedule would comprise mainly domestic flying in the UK and France.

Further routes will be announced by the airliner as government restrictions across Europe are relaxed.

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.

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“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.”

The company will release half year results (for the six months to March 31 2020) on June 30.

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