EasyJet Announces Closure of Three UK Bases Including London Stansted, Southend and Newcastle
EasyJet announced on Monday that following their collective consultation process with BALPA and Unite, they will close their UK bases at London-Stansted, London-Southend and Newcastle, due to the continued impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday (August 17, 2020), easyJet announced that after closing the consultation period with British pilot union BALPA, they have decided to close three UK bases including London-Stansted, London-Southend and Newcastle. The carrier continues to work with Unite, the cabin crew union and BALPA to reduce job losses through an enhanced voluntary redundancy scheme, part-time and seasonal contracts, unpaid leave and base transfers (where possible). Through the consultation process with Unite, 93 percent of cabin crew who were at risk for redundancy have accepted a voluntary redundancy package. Operations at all impacted bases will cease on August 31, 2020. London-Stansted and Newcastle will remain part of easyJet’s route network, with inbound flying staffed from other bases. Customers impacted by the base closures will be notified in the coming days with options such as transferring flights to a different airport or receiving a full refund. In Monday’s announcement, easyJet’s CEO, John Lundgren said,
“We have to take the very difficult decision to close three UK bases as a result of the unprecedented impact of the pandemic and related travel restrictions, compounded by quarantine measures in the UK which is impacting demand for travel. Working closely with our employee representatives, I am pleased that we have been able to identify ways to significantly reduce the number of proposed compulsory redundancies through providing enhanced voluntary redundancy packages for all UK crew alongside options like part time and seasonal contracts, base transfers and unpaid leave which we expect to result in reducing the number of job losses overall. We would like to reassure customers due to fly from these airports that we are now contacting anyone whose flight is affected with clear advice on their options which include rerouting via alternative airports or receiving a full refund. I know that this is a difficult time for our pilots and crew, and I would like to thank them for their continued professionalism.”
EasyJet has taken decisive action since the start of the pandemic to reduce costs and remove non-essential capital expenditures at every level of the business. However, with IATA forecasting that pre-pandemic demand levels will not return until 2024, the carrier must take further difficult actions. Additionally, UK quarantine rules have created uncertainty which has impacted customer demand. The company remains committed to the UK, which remains their largest market and will continue to operate from eight UK bases with over 490 routes, serving 52 million customers. From Newcastle, the carrier will continue to serve Bristol, Belfast and Nice, while the carrier will continue service between London-Stansted and Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast and Amsterdam.