easyJet To Close Half Of Its London Bases

UK based low-cost carrier easyJet has today revealed plans to close three of its British bases. The bases at risk are London Southend, London Stansted, and Newcastle. The airline is in consultation with workers unions regarding the proposals, as well as discussing the proposed lay off of around 30% of its workforce.

Half of easyJet’s bases in London will be closed. Photo: Getty Images

easyJet to close three UK bases

easyJet has today begun consultation with representatives of its employees, including BALPA and UNITE, on the future of all its UK based pilots and crew members. As part of the discussions, the proposals put forward include the potential closure of three of its UK bases.

The three bases at risk are London Stansted, London Southend and Newcastle. The airline has told us that the bases will remain part of the easyJet network.

In a statement sent to Simple Flying, easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren 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. We are focused on doing what is right for the company and its long term health and success so we can protect jobs going forward.

“Unfortunately the lower demand environment means we need fewer aircraft and have less opportunity for work for our people – we are committed to working constructively with our employee representatives across the network with the aim of minimising job losses as far as possible.

“These proposals are no reflection on our people at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, who have all worked tirelessly and have been fully committed to providing great service for our customers.”

The airline says that all affected employees have been informed, and full support is being given to its people during this difficult time.

easyJet will keep the airports in its route network. Photo: Getty Images

5,000 jobs at risk

Early on in the crisis, easyJet affirmed that it could be looking to ax as many as 30% of its workers. This loss of jobs, which amounts to approximately 5,000 positions, is also under consultation with the unions.

BALPA has revealed further detail on the shape of this, which it says could include as many as 727 of the airline’s pilots.

BALPA : easyJet has today informed BALPA, the trade union representing its UK-based pilots, that 727 of their pilots are at risk of redundancy. The company is also proposing to completely close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports.

— Tom Edwards (@BBCTomEdwards) June 30, 2020

In the statement provided to Simple Flying, the airline noted that it was not expecting air travel demand to return much before 2023. It says that, as such, it has to take “decisive actions to remove cost and non-critical expenditure from the business at every level.”

It may be that we’ve not seen the full extent of the easyJet right-sizing yet, as the airline closed its statement saying,

“easyJet will continue to review its network and bases to ensure they are optimised in the current environment.”

The airline has been attempting to weather the crisis, recently revealing a sale and leaseback arrangement for six A320neos. It has pushed back delivery of new jets and has secured a £600m loan to prop up its struggling finances.

The airline will lay off as many as 5,000 workers. Photo: easyJet

However, it’s not been an easy ride for the orange airline. Internal struggles have been further compounded by the UK’s quarantine requirements, and today the airline was forced to cancel its planned flights to Greece after the country closed its borders to the UK for a further two weeks.

Have you been affected by easyJet’s struggles? Are you worried about your job? Talk to us in the comments.