EasyJet, the second largest low cost in Europe, has announced its intention to cut up to 4,500 jobs and reduce its fleet by 15% (to 302 aircraft) to better deal with the consequences of the coronavirus emergency that has air transport in the continent and in the rest of the world is almost zero. This was announced in the morning by Johan Lundgren, CEO of the British company, making it clear that when people return to fly the market will still be smaller than it was before the pandemic. And announcements of cuts also come from American Airlines: 30% of management and administrative staff.
The reduction of the American airline is equivalent to over 5000 of the approximately 17 thousand employees of the two sectors. Volunteers are expected to leave until June 10, but if their number is not sufficient, the company will be forced to take its measures. However, all employees will receive their wages until 30 September.
As for EasyJet, which has three air operator certificates (English, Swiss and Austrian), the staff consists of 15 thousand people in eight countries. In Italy – where the third passenger carrier, after Ryanair and Alitalia – the low cost has 1,469 employees who are almost all in layoffs, as required by the company for a maximum of nine months. only one of the companies that joins the ever-growing list of airlines that decide to reduce staff and operations. Ryanair has announced 15% of redundancies (out of 17,500 employees) and Wizz Air 19% (4,550 hired). In the UK, British Airways will send 12,000 out of 42,000 employees home.
Via part of the employees, but also via some planes. The easyJet fleet – which now has 353 aircraft – at the end of 2021 will contain 302: of these, explains the company in the official note, 3-4% will be available for peak moments. The reduction in the size of the fleet will be achieved through the previously announced measures – the communication continues – including the deferral of deliveries of new aircraft and the return of leased aircraft. This will also have an impact on operations: in the fourth quarter of this year (October-December) the low cost expects to fly with volumes of approximately 30% compared to those of the fourth quarter of 2019, less than 40% that the rival Ryanair plans already for the month of July.
According to the OAG specialized platform, the United Kingdom is the main easyJet market: 32 million places were available in the country in the year April 2019-March 2020. France ranks second (15 million) and Italy ranks third (12.5 million of these 3.9 million on domestic flights). While at the airport level the first place is London Gatwick (10.5 million seats), then Berlin-Tegel (4.7 million) and Geneva (4.6 million). Fourth is the Milan Malpensa airport, one of the three Italian bases (the others are Venice and Naples), with 4.3 million. The company has not yet clarified where it would cut. From an analysis carried out by the consulting firm Rdc, the markets that record the most losses in the easyJet network are the German and Austrian ones.