Coronavirus: EasyJet to cut nearly one in three jobs worldwide
An empty boarding area at Nice International Airport, May 20, 2020. (Photo illustration) REUTERS / Eric Gaillard
Text by: RFI Follow
A week after being the target of a cyber attack, the British airline EasyJet announced Thursday, May 28, the reduction of 4,500 jobs, or almost a third of its workforce, to cope with the shock of the pandemic of coronavirus. Its competitors British Airways, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic had already announced job cuts due to a worldwide drop in demand.
EasyJet, whose activity has been stopped for weeks , intends to preserve its finances and adapt to weaker air traffic over a long period . The company said in a statement that the 30% reduction will be a maximum, out of a total workforce of around 15,000 people.
EasyJet joins its competitors British Airways, Ryanair or Virgin Atlantic, which have all announced job cuts recently .
" We know this is a very difficult time and we have to make very difficult decisions affecting our employees, but we want to protect as many jobs as possible in the long term, " said Johan Lundgren, managing director of the transporter.
In support of its decision to reduce the workforce, the group highlights the fact that its aircraft fleet will be reduced due to the decline in activity, but also the need to optimize its network and its bases , improve productivity and put in place more efficient working methods to remain profitable.
EasyJet also confirms a gradual resumption of its flights from June 15, especially domestic flights in the United Kingdom and France.
No return to normal before 2023, estimates EasyJet
The company says that reservations on these recovery flights are " encouraging " and that demand for summer 2020 indicates an improvement in activity. EasyJet estimates, however, that its flight capacities between July and September 2020 will only be 30% of those of summer 2019. In the longer term, it says it does not expect to return to normal before 2023 .
She adds that reservations for next winter are higher than last year for the same period, travelers having postponed flights canceled during the pandemic.
Cyber attack and attempt to oust management
EasyJet is going through a particularly eventful period. In addition to the pandemic, the company revealed on Tuesday May 19 that it had suffered a cyber attack at the start of the year, affecting 9 million customers .
The group also succeeded at a general meeting of shareholders Friday, May 22 to block a proposal from its founder to oust the management team, against a backdrop of disagreement over the management of the pandemic.
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