On the morning of Monday 30 March 2020, the EasyJet Group announced, by means of a press release, the immobilisation of its entire fleet for an indefinite period. This decision comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is preventing more and more travel and is putting the whole sector at risk following the containment imposed in many European countries.
Indeed, let us recall that about ten days ago, the airline had already announced that it would keep most of its aircraft on the ground because of the paralysis of world traffic.
It should also be remembered that EasyJet has organised, in recent days, the repatriation of customers through 650 specific flights that have enabled more than 45,000 customers to be taken home. The last of these flights took place on Sunday, as the low-cost travel group stated in its press release this morning. EasyJet also stated that it will continue to work with the authorities to set up additional rescue flights according to their request.
The EasyJet group has not been able to give further details as to when it will be able to offer commercial flights again. However, the airline assures that it will continue to make every effort to lighten the cost structure in order to deal effectively with the economic impact of the pandemic. Indeed, keeping its equipment on the ground allows it to make significant savings.
Furthermore, the carrier announces that it has healthy accounts and also explains that it has reached an agreement with the unions so that its cabin crew can take time off work.
This agreement will be effective from 1 April and will be for an initial period of two months. Crews will be paid 80% of their average salary through a system put in place by the government to maintain jobs.
In spite of the serious crisis currently facing the airline industry due to the pandemic, which has forced most airlines to suspend almost all their flights, the government of Boris Johnson has announced that no rescue plan is on the agenda for the time being. The UK government will therefore not fly to the rescue of airlines or airports unless all options have been exhausted, such as recourse to the business aids it has already put in place.
In the United States, the government is considering taking equity stakes in airlines in exchange for aid in order to best support them in the face of the effects of this global pandemic.