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EasyJet To Remove Seats From Planes To Tackle Staff Shortages

Claire Reid

Published 
| Last updated 

EasyJet To Remove Seats From Planes To Tackle Staff Shortages

easyJet is planning to remove seats on its flights so it can fly with fewer members of crew amid staff shortages. 

The Civil Aviation Authority bases its requirements on the number of crew members needed on each flight on the number of passengers flying. 

So by removing the back row ​​of seats on its A319 planes, easyJet will be able to fly with three members of staff instead of four.

The removal of the seats will mean that the number of passengers per flight will drop to 150. 

An easyJet flight. Credit: Alamy
An easyJet flight. Credit: Alamy

In a statement, easyJet told the PA news agency that this was an ‘effective way’ of operating its fleet this summer.

The statement said: “This summer we will be operating our UK A319 fleet with a maximum of 150 passengers onboard and three crew in line with CAA regulations.

“This is an effective way of operating our fleet while building additional resilience and flexibility into our operation this summer where we expect to be back to near 2019 levels of flying.”

The move comes after numerous European airlines, including easyJet, had to cancel flights in the run up to Easter. 

The airline said it expects to operate ‘near’ pre-pandemic levels of flying this summer; having operated at 80 percent of its 2019 capacity for the first three months of this year.

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren has previously apologised for the cancellations, which were mainly driven by staff shortages due to Covid-19. 

Speaking last month, he told Sky News: "We were having in some cases up to 20 percent of absence, and you wouldn't expect any airline at any point in time to be able to cover that. 

"That is unfortunate for people who have been affected but I would like to reiterate that those cancellations were made preemptively.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

"People got notice on that in the beginning of last week. The majority of them had the opportunity to rebook to flights that we have on the same day, however unfortunate that is.

"We're carrying up to 260,000 customers per day, so I think it's important to put that into context."

Lundgren admitted that it was ‘too early to tell’ how long the disruptions would go on for, but said the airline had ‘about 100 new members of staff’ who were ready to start work and awaiting permission from the Department for Transport.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: UK News, Travel

Claire Reid
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