EasyJet this morning has taken extraordinary measures in order to safeguard the company’s future by grounding all flights due to the coronavirus global health emergency.
This comes as the public listed company has struck a deal with trade union Unite, which sees cabin crew take a two-month leave of absence.
The company in a statement to the London Stock Exchange said that Sunday was its final rescue flight and that cabin crew are on a two-month leave of absence.
EasyJet said, “As a result of the unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the implementations of national locations across many European countries, EasyJet has, today, fully grounded its entire fleet of aircraft.”
This comes after 650 rescue flights, helping more than 45,000 customers to repatriate them to their countries of origin. These final rescue flights were on Sunday, March 29. However, the company has said it will continue to work with government bodies if further rescue flights are requested.
The fleet will remain grounded until further notice as dates for restarting commercial flights is unknown.
The airline said, “we will continuously evaluate the situation based on regulations and demand, and will update the market when we have a view.”
The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the airline markets, with Flybe filling for administration and ceasing all operations at the beginning of March.
Global flight numbers have rapidly decreased with more government bodies restricting movement in order to fight Covid-19. This has sparked airline groups requesting support from the government to support the industry’s future.
So far, the UK government has committed to helping airline workforces but ruled out support packages.
The decision has meant that the 344 EasyJet aircraft have been parked up. However, they have made planes available should the UK government request help.
This comes at a time where EasyJets founder, Sir Stelios –Haji-loannuu has called for the removal of one of its non-executive directors unless it cancels a £4.5 billion aircraft order that would threaten the company’s future.
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