BALPA caught off guard as easyJet announces massive wave of job cuts

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BALPA, the British Airline Pilots’ Association and pilots’ union has criticized easyJet for its announcement of a shedding of up to 30% of its staff without prior consultation. The union sees this volume of layoffs as totally unnecessary and that it would need “a lot of convincing” that easyJet needed to make “such dramatic cuts.”

The fact that easyJet is making cuts came as no surprise, despite the fact that staff had already taken pay cuts to ease the financial burden created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact the low-cost carrier’s fleet has remained grounded since March 30. The 30% equates to approximately 4,500 employees and the volume does not correspond to moves made by other low-cost carriers. Ryanair, renowned for its cost-cutting measures plans to reduce its own workforce by a maximum 15%, though it anticipates the final figure will be lower. Wizz expects to reduce its workforce by 19%.

Easyjet is being ultra-cautious and perhaps overly pessimistic with its predictions for the future, anticipating that it will take at least three years for passenger demand to return to pre-pandemic levels. Currently, the carrier anticipates reducing its fleet of planes by the 51 it had planned to be flying to a total 302 jets, though with the failure of former founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou to convince the company to cancel its order of 100 new Airbus aircraft, this is viewed as a potentially damaging impending expense. easyJet also intends to reduce operating costs by renegotiating contracts with airports and ground handling, while also reassessing its marketing budget.

easyJet intends to recommence operations, albeit in a heavily reduced scale, on June 15, on domestic routes in France and the U.K., then opening up further routes based on demand.

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