EasyJet cuts plane seats due to lack of post-covid crew

Low-cost airline EasyJet has decided to withdraw six seats from its A319 flights in the UK to address the problem of staff shortages, which recently led to the cancellation of hundreds of its flights. The new strategy was announced by the company on Monday (9) as a way to limit labor needs.

Low-cost airline EasyJet has decided to withdraw six seats from its A319 flights in the UK to address the problem of staff shortages, which recently led to the cancellation of hundreds of its flights. The new strategy was announced by the company on Monday (9) as a way to limit labor needs.

“In this summer [no Hemisfério Norte]we will operate our A319 fleet in the UK with a maximum of 150 passengers on board [em comparação a 156 em outros voos] and three crew” instead of the usual four, EasyJet said in a statement.

These adaptations concern the 60 aircraft that make up the company’s British fleet of A319s. EasyJet indicates acting in accordance with the rules of civil aviation in the United Kingdom, with one cabin crew member for every 50 seats.

The company explains that the last six seats on the plane are often reserved in the last days before departure and the company estimates that the impact of the measure will be limited on its flight offer during the summer in the Northern Hemisphere, period from July to September.

In early April, Britain’s EasyJet had to cancel hundreds of its flights, an average of 1,600 a day. The cancellations occurred because employees were contaminated by covid-19. Sector particularly hit by health restrictions, at the height of the epidemic, aviation begins to see a recovery in demand.

Difficulty recruiting employees

EasyJet is trying to recruit staff, but that’s a difficult task at the moment, as UK airports and airlines, which had cut staff during the pandemic, are looking to hire staff all at the same time.

Reducing the number of seats on some aircraft is “an efficient way to operate our fleet while increasing the resilience and flexibility of our operations in the summer, when we expect to return to near 2019 flight levels,” EasyJet estimates.

Passenger numbers have suddenly increased at European airports such as Heathrow (pictured);  company struggles to hire employees - PA Images via Getty Images - PA Images via Getty Images

Passenger numbers have suddenly increased at European airports such as Heathrow (pictured); company face difficulties in hiring employees

Image: PA Images via Getty Images

The company had indicated in mid-April that it expected a loss of between £535m and £565m in the six months to the end of March, lower than the same period in 2021. The company says it is satisfied with the increase in bookings. .

European airports: sudden increase in flights

In European airports, the unexpected increase in the number of passengers after the end of restrictions related to covid-19, represents a “challenge” for companies that have reduced the number of employees during the crisis.

“The immediate challenge is to manage the sudden increase in traffic, as one of the effects of the pandemic has been to reduce the resources of airports and maintenance of aircraft on the ground”, said the director general of the International Council of Airports in Europe, Olivier Jankovec. , in a statement released on Thursday (5).

He stressed the need to hire new employees, and said that it is impossible to “make adjustments overnight”, taking into account aspects related to safety and the deadlines required for training. The day before, IATA, the world’s leading airline association, had called for the situation to be addressed “urgently.”

(With information from AFP and RFI)

About Abhishek Pratap

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