EasyJet cuts 5,000 jobs and pulls out of Stansted, Southend and Newcastle

EasyJet said it had started consultations with staff about who would lose their jobs.

Johan Lundgren, chief executive, said: “These are very difficult proposals to put forward in what is an unprecedented and difficult time for the airline and the industry as a whole. Unfortunately the lower demand environment means we need fewer aircraft and have less opportunity for work for our people.

He added that the cuts were part of his focus on “doing what is right for the company and its long-term health and success so we can protect jobs going forward”.

The airline has about 300 aircraft, of which half are based in the UK.

Pilots union Balpa, expressed its shock at the scale of the cuts to flight crew, saying they “did not add up”.

General secretary Brian Strutton said: “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.”

At last week’s results the company said it was raising  up to £450m with a share placing to shore up its balance sheet, having taken charges of nearly £160m from Covid travel restrictions.

In the six months to the end of March, easyJet reported passenger numbers fell by 7.4pc to 38.6m because of Covid-19, though revenue rose 1.6pc to £2.38bn.

To help it weather the pandemic, easyJet has secured funding £1.7bn of funding, and anticipates further bolstering its reserves by up to £350m with sale and leaseback deals on its aircraft.

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