Airline easyJet grounds entire fleet due to coronavirus crisis

Airline easyJet has grounded its entire fleet due to the coronavirus crisis, it has been announced.

Monday, 30th March 2020, 7:38 am
Updated Monday, 30th March 2020, 7:38 am

In a statement issued this morning, the airline said: “As a result of the unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of national lockdowns across many European countries, easyJet has, today, fully grounded its entire fleet of aircraft.

“Over recent days easyJet has been helping to repatriate customers, having operated more than 650 rescue flights to date, returning home more than 45,000 customers.

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Airline easyJet has grounded its entire fleet due to the coronavirus pandemic (Pic: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire)

“The last of these rescue flights were operated on Sunday 29 March. 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.

“We continue to take every action to remove cost and non-critical expenditure from the business at every level in order to help mitigate the impact from the coronavirus. The grounding of aircraft removes significant cost.

“easyJet maintains a strong balance sheet, with no debt re-financings due until 2022. We are in ongoing discussions with liquidity providers who recognise our strength of balance sheet and business model.

“easyJet and Unite the union have collaboratively reached an agreement on furlough arrangements for its cabin crew. The agreement will be effective from 1 April 2020 for a period of two months and means that crew will be paid 80 per cent of their average pay through the Government job retention scheme.”

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Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s chief executive, added: “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.”

Britain is currently on lockdown with residents urged to remain at home to reduce the spread of Covid-19.