Impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, easyJet wants to reduce its workforce by up to 30%, or 4,500 employees from 15,000 people. In the coming days, the British airline will start a consultation process with its staff.
easyJet plans to reduce its fleet to 302 aircraft, 51 aircraft lower than it had been planning for the end of 2021 but before the pandemic. For the rest of 2020, the airline expects to be flying around with just 30% of its originally planned capacity.
The airline will also take out costs and is in talks with airports and other suppliers to get improved deals. Discussions with aircraft lessors for a sale and leaseback operation are ongoing.
“A difficult time for the airline, hence difficult decisions are to be made,” easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said in a statement on Thursday, adding that: “we want to ensure that we emerge from the pandemic in an even more competitive business than before, so that easyJet can thrive in the future.”
“Next 15 June, we will start flying again, but due to a very weakened demand we will only reach our 2019 level in three years from now,” the CEO predicts.
easyJet is making deeper cuts than its low-cost rivals as Ryanair announced it would lay off 15% of its staff, and smaller Wizz Air 19%.