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Over 700 easyJet pilots at risk of redundancy with three UK bases to close

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According to the British Airline Pilots Associations (BALPA) 727 pilots’ jobs are at risk of redundancy, as the airline are considering closing three UK bases.

The low-cost airline have confirmed that they are planning to close three bases in London Stanstead, London Southend and Newcastle.

This comes as the airline intend to cut staffing levels by 30% in the three regions, which could result in 5,000 job losses.

An easyJet spokeswoman said, “As part of our update to the market on 28 May 2020 easyJet set out that may need to reduce staff numbers by up to 30% as well as optimise its network and bases as a result of the pandemic.

“Today, easyJet started a formal consultation with its employee representatives over proposals to potentially cease basing crew and aircraft at Newcastle. Newcastle would remain part of easyJet’s route network.

“Consultations with employee representatives including BALPA and Unite have commenced and we have informed all employees who could be directly affected by the base closure.

“We are fully committed to work closely with our employee representatives during these consultations and providing full support to our people during the coming period.

“Since the pandemic began, easyJet has taken decisive action to remove cost and non-critical expenditure from the business at every level to mitigate the impact however, in line with IATA projections, easyJet believes that the levels of market demand seen in 2019 are not likely to be reached again until 2023.

“We have also informed all employees who may be directly affected by these proposals and will be providing full support to our people during this difficult time.

“We are fully committed to work closely with our employee representatives during these consultations with the aim of minimising job losses as far as possible.”

A spokesman for BALPA said, “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.

Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary said, “We know that aviation is in the midst of the COVID crisis and we had been expecting easyJet to make an announcement of temporary measures to help the airline through to recovery.

“But this seems an excessive over-reaction and easyJet won’t find a supply of pilots waiting to come back when the recovery takes place over the next two years.

“easyJet paid £174m out to shareholders, got agreements to furlough staff to protect cash, got £600m from the government, has boasted of having £2.4bn in liquidity, and ticket sales are going through the roof so fast they cannot get pilots back off furlough quickly enough – so why the panic?

“It doesn’t add up. We are meeting easyJet today and we will be fighting to save every single job.

“This is more evidence that aviation in the UK is caught in a death spiral of despair and individual airlines are flailing around without direction.

“BALPA repeats its call for government to step in, provide a strategy and back a moratorium on job losses while all stakeholders sort out an holistic way forward for the whole aviation sector.”




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