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Pilots shock at scale of easyJet redundancy proposals

easyJet has today informed BALPA, the trade union representing its UK-based pilots, that 727 of their pilots are at risk of redundancy. The company is also proposing to completely close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports.

BALPA is shocked at the size of potential job losses which equates to nearly 1-in-3 of easyJet pilots in the UK, which it says doesn’t add up.

Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary, said: “We know that aviation is in the midst of the COVID crisis and we had been expecting easyJet to make an announcement of temporary measures to help the airline through to recovery.

“But this seems an excessive over-reaction and easyJet won’t find a supply of pilots waiting to come back when the recovery takes place over the next two years. easyJet paid £174m out to shareholders, got agreements to furlough staff to protect cash, got £600m from the Government, has boasted of having £2.4bn in liquidity, and ticket sales are going through the roof so fast they cannot get pilots back off furlough quickly enough – so why the panic? It doesn’t add up. We are meeting easyJet today and we will be fighting to save every single job.

“This is more evidence that aviation in the U.K. is caught in a death spiral of despair and individual airlines are flailing around without direction. BALPA repeats its call for Government to step in, provide a strategy and back a moratorium on job losses while all stakeholders sort out an holistic way forward for the whole aviation sector.”
Notes for editors:

•    easyJet employs 2300 pilots in the U.K
•    727 pilots are at risk of redundancy; 651 FTE jobs.
•    easyJet are in receipt of a £600m loan from the UK taxpayer under the Government Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF)
•    Around 80% of easyJet’s UK pilots currently remain furloughed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
•    At the start of this crisis, easyJet’s pilots took pay cuts equivalent to up to 76% of their normal monthly salary to assist the company’s cash position
•    easyJet chose to pay a dividend of £174m to shareholders in March 2020, well after the scope and scale of the Coronavirus crisis was apparent
•    easyJet failed to state whether or not they plan to pay another multi-million-pound dividend next year in their recent H1 results to the City
•    easyJet announced to the City that it has a “strong liquidity position and investment grade balance sheet”, and that “easyJet’s business model means that we are well positioned for the recovery from Covid-19”.
•    easyJet currently holds £2.4bn in cash reserves, expected to rise to £3.1bn by the year end
•    easyJet have not indicated whether they intend to cancel their proposed construction of a new multi-million-pound, 11.2-acre, 140,000 sq. ft. HQ building at Luton Airport
•    Poor fuel hedging strategy by management cost easyJet £164m in the first half of this financial year
•    In November 2019 easyJet acquired Thomas Cook’s slots at Gatwick Airport (12 summer slot pairs and 8 winter slot pairs) and Bristol Airport (6 summer slot pairs and one winter slot pair) for £36 million