EasyJet to cut 4,500 jobs to stay competitive after crisis

EasyJet expects a depressed market for air travel in the immediate future, and is looking to cut the size of its fleet accordingly. (Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 29 May 2020

EasyJet to cut 4,500 jobs to stay competitive after crisis

  • UK budget airline expects a smaller market in future after easing of lockdown travel measures

LONDON: The UK’s easyJet plans to cut up to 4,500 jobs and shrink its fleet to adjust to the smaller travel market which is forecast to emerge from the coronavirus crisis.

EasyJet, which employs more than 15,000 people in eight countries across Europe, is moving later than others in announcing job cuts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought airlines across the world to their knees.

Most have been forced to cut jobs, including more than 15,000 in Britain, as they prepare for a market which is not forecast to return to 2019 levels until 2023.

EasyJet, which said on Thursday it would launch a consultation process with staff, also plans to shrink its fleet by 15 percent to 302 planes by the end of 2021 and to cut costs through deals with airports, suppliers and in marketing.

Shares in easyJet rose 6 percent to 751 pence, their highest level since mid-March, before coronavirus grounded its fleet.

“Exactly the kind of overhaul the cost base needs,” Bernstein analyst Daniel Roeska said of easyJet’s cuts, which go deeper than those of Ryanair and Wizz Air, who have said they will lay off 15 percent and 19 percent of staff respectively.

EasyJet said it expects to be flying around 30 percent of its capacity by the fourth quarter, which leaves it trailing Ryanair which is planning to fly 40 percent in July.

“The leverage to growing market share over the next two years seems to rest with Ryanair and Wizz, who see their cost bases as allowing them to exploit this crisis,” Goodbody analyst Mark Simpson said.

EasyJet Chief Executive Johan Lundgren said that job cuts would ensure easyJet emerges as “a more competitive business.” Around 8,000 of its staff are based in Britain.

Lundgren told reporters that easyJet was talking to the British government about a 14-day quarantine rule which airlines say will further stifle any travel recovery.

Over the last six weeks easyJet has also been grappling with an attempt by its biggest shareholder to oust its senior bosses, and the fallout from a cyberattack.

It said that talks with lessors interested in acquiring aircraft on a sale and leaseback basis were ongoing, and that proceeds would now be £500 million to £650 million ($798 million), around 25 percent higher than previously expected in April. 


Conflict-hit Libya to restart oil operations but with low output

Updated 10 July 2020

Conflict-hit Libya to restart oil operations but with low output

  • There is significant damage to the reservoirs and infrastructure
  • A first cargo of 650,000 barrels will be shipped by the Kriti Bastion Aframax tanker

TUNIS: Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) lifted force majeure on all oil exports on Friday as a first tanker loaded at Es Sider after a half-year blockade by eastern forces, but said technical problems caused by the shutdown would keep output low.
“The increase in production will take a long time due to the significant damage to reservoirs and infrastructure caused by the illegal blockade imposed on January 17,” NOC said in a statement.
A first cargo of 650,000 barrels will be shipped by the Kriti Bastion Aframax tanker, chartered by Vitol, which two sources at Es Sider port said had docked and started loading on Friday morning.
The blockade, which was imposed by forces in eastern Libya loyal to Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA), has cost the country $6.5 billion in lost export revenue, NOC said.
“Our infrastructure has suffered lasting damage, and our focus now must be on maintenance and securing a budget for the work to be done,” NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in the statement.
Control over Libya’s oil infrastructure, the richest prize for competing forces in the country, and access to revenues, has become an ever-more significant factor in the civil war.
The internationally recognized Government of National Accord, supported by Turkey, has recently pushed back the LNA, backed by the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Egypt, from the environs of Tripoli and pushed toward Sirte, near the main oil terminals.

Related