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Budget airline easyJet has announced it will permanently close hubs in Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports, following a statement last month warning it may have to let go up to 30 percent of its workforce.
The airline told LADbible that the maximum number of job losses would be 1,900, but it is working constructively with unions to minimise redundancies.
Flights will continue to run to the three airports, but they will have reduced staffing levels. Bosses have given the news to unions for pilots and crew.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO, said: "These proposals are no reflection on our people at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, who have all worked tirelessly and have been fully committed to providing great service for our customers."
Pilots union BALPA said the company told them 727 pilots are facing job losses, which equates to about one in three of all easyJet's pilots in the UK.
An easyJet spokesperson told LADbible: "As part of our update to the market on 28 May 2020, easyJet set out that it may need to reduce staff numbers by up to 30% as well as optimise its network and bases as a result of the pandemic.
"easyJet has today started formal consultation on proposals with employee representatives including Balpa and Unite on all of its UK based pilots and crew.
"The proposals include the potential closing of three of its bases in the UK - London Stansted, London Southend and Newcastle. These airports would remain part of easyJet's route network."
Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary, said that the move is 'excessive' and that 'it doesn't add up'.
In a statement, he 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."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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