In an announcement that union leaders have called a “knee-jerk reaction” to the crisis hitting the aviation industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, EasyJet has revealed plans to let go of up to a third of its workforce.
While the airline’s statement didn’t provide an exact figure, it is thought that the move will affect up to 4,500 workers.
"We realise that these are very difficult times and we are having to consider very difficult decisions which will impact our people, but we want to protect as many jobs as we can for the long-term,” said easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren, affirming that “although we will restart flying on 15th June, we expect demand to build slowly, only returning to 2019 levels in about three years' time.”
The announcement is the latest in a slew of job losses within the sector in recent weeks, coming just days after British Airways announced potential redundancy for 12,000 staff and Ryanair’s statement that 3,000 of its staff were also at risk.
The outlook for the aviation industry has deteriorated since the onset of COVID-19 and hopes for a swift recovery are looking less likely. It is expected that social distancing and new safety measures will limit the appetite for travel and will have a lasting effect in the coming years.