EasyJet to close bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports
EasyJet proposed the closure of the three bases in June and has now confirmed the bases will close on September 1 2020. The move is part of a major restructuring prompted by the coronavirus pandemic and will affect 670 employees.
The restructuring will see outbound flights cut from Stansted and Newcastle, but inbound flights continue. All flights in and out of Southend will be permanently terminated.
Johan Lundgren, EasyJet chief executive, said: “We have had 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 additional 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.”
EasyJet warned in May that it may need to reduce staff numbers by up to 30% as a result of the pandemic.
The airline restarted flights to Europe in July after receiving a £600m loan from the government via the Government Covid Corporate Financing Facility.
But new quarantine rules for passengers arriving in the UK from Spain and France have since sparked a fresh wave of cancellations. The Netherlands and Malta have also been removed from the safe countries list.
EasyJet customers with flights booked to or from Stansted, Newcastle or Southend after 1 September can expect to hear from the airline in due course.
Passengers will be able to transfer their flight to another airport or receive a full refund.
The move comes just a day after rival airline Jet2 announced that it plans to make 102 pilots redundant across most of its bases.