easyJet is to make a welcome return in June after many weeks of its fleet being grounded amid the coronavirus pandemic. The carrier will resume flying on June 15, servicing a small number of routes. The initial schedule will comprise mainly domestic flying in the UK and France.
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These routes will later expand as European lockdowns relax.
“Further routes will be announced as customer demand increases and government restrictions across Europe are relaxed,” said easyJet in a statement.
“So far, the booking trends on the resumed flights have been encouraging, and the demand indications for summer 2020 are improving, albeit from a low base.
“Bookings for winter are well ahead of the equivalent point last year, which includes customers who are rebooking coronavirus-disrupted flights for later dates.”
However, today easyJet revealed it would be cutting around 4,500 jobs and also reducing the size of its fleet due to a lack of demand.
easyJet’s statement explained: “Regarding fiscal Q4 2020 capacity, current plans are that easyJet expects to fly around 30 percent of the planned capacity flown in Q4 2019.
“This will continue to be evaluated reflecting changing regulations and customer demand.
“Our commercial planning and data science teams continue to work through different demand scenarios as we move through summer and into winter 2020/21.
“Looking further forward, easyJet expects its year end 2021 fleet size to be at the bottom end of our fleet range at around 302 aircraft, which is 51 aircraft lower than the anticipated fleet size for year end 2021 which was reported to the market prior to Covid-19.”
The airline continued: “This fleet number will include c.3-4 percent of un-crewed standby aircraft during peak.
“The reduction in fleet size will be achieved through the measures previously announced, including the deferral of new aircraft deliveries and the re-delivery of leased aircraft.
“In line with IATA projections, easyJet believes that the levels of market demand seen in 2019 are not likely to be reached again until 2023.
“Our fleet deal with Airbus gives easyJet the flexibility to react to the different circumstances and varying demand environments which we may be faced with in the coming period.
“However, as a low cost airline with a strong network, we believe we are well placed to benefit from customers seeking great value during that recovery period.”
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So how will the fleet size being reduced affect easyJet customers?
An airline spokesman told Express.co.uk: “Although we will restart flying on 15 June, we expect it to take some time for demand to return.
“We are starting with a small number of flights and expect to build on this as demand returns and restrictions are relaxed.”
Many people are also still waiting for a refund for easyJet.
These can now be requested online.
An easyJet spokesman told Express.co.uk concerning refunds: “Customers on cancelled flights can transfer to an alternative flight free of charge or receive a voucher for the value of their booking online.
“Customers may also request a refund by submitting a claim in writing via a dedicated refund web form online.
“We are processing refunds for customers and aim to so in less than 28 days.”
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