Easyjet has confirmed it will close its airport base at Stansted from 1 September, as the coronavirus pandemic severely dents demand.
The budget airline is also shutting its bases in Southend and Newcastle, putting hundreds of jobs at risk. Stansted and Newcastle will remain part of Easyet’s route network, and some in-bound flights will continue.
Earlier this month the airline said it would expand its scheduled flights due to growing demand for holidays. However as the UK government added key holiday destinations such as France and Spain to its quarantine list, it has suffered further.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren said: “We have had to take the very difficult decision to close three UK bases as a result of the unprecedented impact of the pandemic and related travel restrictions, compounded by quarantine measures in the UK which is impacting demand for travel.”
He reassured customers due to fly from the airports that there would be “clear advice” on their options, including rerouting via alternative airports or receiving full refunds.
Easyjet put the three bases on notice of closure in June and began a consultation on jobs which has now finished. It said they were able to reduce the amount of redundancies, with 93 per cent of its cabin crew opting for an “enhanced voluntary redundancy package”.
The airline said it was also looking at additional options like part time and seasonal contracts, as well as base transfers where possible.
“Working closely with our employee representatives, I am pleased that we have been able to identify ways to significantly reduce the number of proposed compulsory redundancies through providing enhanced voluntary redundancy packages for all UK crew alongside additional options like part time and seasonal contracts, base transfers and unpaid leave which we expect to result in reducing the number of job losses overall,” Lundgren added.