Low-cost EasyJet to cup up to 30% of its workforce

British low cost airline EasyJet is planning to cut up to 30% of its staff, or about 4,500 jobs, and shrink its fleet, to fit the smaller market it expects to emerge from the collapse in air travel due to Covid-19, news wires reported. The airline, which employs over 15,000 people in eight countries across Europe, said it would launch a consultation process with its staff in the coming days.

EasyJet said on Thursday that it was planning to fly around 30% of its capacity later this year, and that it expected to shrink its aircraft numbers to around 300 planes, about 51 aircraft lower than it had been planning for 2021 prior to the pandemic. It said it was focused on taking out cost, and that discussions with lessors to raise new funds were ongoing. The airline guided that proceeds from those talks would now be in the range of 500 to 650 million pounds, slightly higher than guidance given in April.

The pandemic has brought airlines across the world to their knees, grounding planes and forcing them to make tens of thousands of job cuts as they prepare for a travel market which will take at least three years to recover. Ryanair, EasyJet’s bigger low cost rival, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have announced 18,000 job cuts so far. Over the last month EasyJet has been grappling with an investor vote on management strategy as well as a cyber attack.

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