Easyjet’s chief executive Johan Lundgren has warned that the budget airline may be forced into making more job cuts due to the government’s new quarantine rules.
The blanket restrictions, which came into effect today, mean that almost all incoming passengers to England must quarantine for 14 days.
When asked whether it could lead to more job losses by Sky News, Lundgren said: “I fear so, absolutely”.
Easyjet has already begun redundancy consultations for 30 per cent of its workforce, which amounts to 4,500 jobs.
The carrier has joined forces with Ryanair and British Airways and sent a pre-legal letter to the government over the “wholly unjustified and disproportionate” nature of the measures.
Lundgren said: “This [ quarantine plan] makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. There’s no underlying medical or scientific evidence as to why this should be an effective measure from a public health point of view.
“It’s much better to have a targeted approach based on the solution of air bridges that we have proposed”.
He added the measures were not in proportion and should be overturned as quickly as possible.
Lundgren confirmed the airline’s plans to fly up to 30 per cent of its normal passenger load through July and August, but warned that the long-term uncertainty caused by the measures could be devastating to the sector.
Under the plan, the blanket quarantine period will be reviewed every three weeks, the government has said.
The measures have come in for heavy criticism from airlines, travel firms, business groups and MPs alike.
Lundgren’s comments followed those of Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, who this morning called the measures “rubbish”.
He insisted that the budget carrier would not cancel flights in July and August due to the measures.
Heathrow Airport’s boss John Holland-Kaye told City A.M. that up to 25,000 jobs at the hub might be lost due to the quarantine measures.