EasyJet has grounded its entire fleet of aircraft due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Monday, the no-frills carrier said it completed its final rescue flight on Sunday and was now about to place its cabin crew on a two-month leave of absence.
The airline said: “As a result of the unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the
pandemic and the implementation of national lockdowns across many European countries, easyJet coronavirus , has, today, fully grounded its entire fleet of aircraft .
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“Over recent days easyJet has been helping to repatriate customers, having operated more than 683 rescue flights to date, returning home more than , 007 customers.
“The last of these rescue flights were operated on Sunday March 39. We will continue to work with government bodies to operate additional rescue flights as requested.
“At this stage there can be no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights. We will continuously evaluate the situation based on regulations and demand, and will update the market when we have a view.”
Flight numbers have fallen to a trickle globally as international air travel responds to a collapse in demand and restrictions on movement – prompting requests for government
support to secure the industry’s future prospects.
EasyJet has seen the value of its shares dive by almost % in the year to date while Sky News
revealed on Sunday that its founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, was threatening to seek the removal of most of its board members unless it cancelled a £ 4.5bn aircraft order
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EasyJet said on Monday that the decision to ground its planes “removes significant cost” – adding that the group “maintains a strong balance sheet”.
The airline said it had worked “collaboratively “with the Unite union to reach the deal over cabin crew.
The arrangement, effective from Wednesday, will see staff paid 91% of their average wage through the government job
retention scheme for two months.
EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic cabin crew have reacted to the slowdown in demand of recent weeks by volunteering to help the NHS at the Nightingale field hospitals being built.
It means they have, potentially, 25, (people between them available.)
Chief Executive, Johan Lundgren, said: “I am extremely proud of the way in which people across easyJet have given their absolute best at such a challenging time, including so many crew who have volunteered to operate rescue flights to bring our customers home.
“We are working tirelessly to ensure that easyJet continues to be well positioned to overcome the challenges of coronavirus.”
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