easyJet to pull out of London Stansted airport as a base after numbers plummet

PUBLISHED: 13:54 10 August 2020

London Stansted Airport terminal. Picture: London Stansted Airport

London Stansted Airport terminal. Picture: London Stansted Airport

London Stansted Airport

EasyJet has been criticised for pulling out of Stansted as the airport continues to see massive drops in passengers.

The airport passenger numbers doubled in June from May, but were still down by 97.8 percent year on year.

The figures have led to easyJet confirming it is pulling out of Stansted as a base along with Southend – a decision the Unite union has described as “a kick in the teeth” for employees, passengers and vital regional airports.

EasyJet has seven aircraft based at Stansted, with 335 crew.

At Southend, there are 183 crew and four aircraft. And there are three aircraft based in Newcastle, with 157 crew.

It has blamed the cuts on lower demand.

But Unite says that the airline’s decision will threaten the viability of the affected airports and is likely to lead to further job losses.

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Unite national officer for civil aviation, Oliver Richardson, said: “This is a kick in the teeth for easyJet employees, workers at the affected airports, their passengers and the communities these bases support.

“Unite has tried everything to persuade easyJet to reverse its decision to close the three bases and to consider other options but the company has remained adamant that they are financially unviable.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, easyJet’s priorities have been wrong; they have sought to pay shareholders dividends, secure a multi-million pound government loan to buy new aircraft, but not to use its cash reserves to defend its own employees’ jobs.

“The decision by the company is heartless and wrong-headed.”

Stansted saw 59,176 passengers in June – up from 20,607 in May.

But overall it means the airport saw 98.8 percent fewer passengers than it did in June 2019.

MAG, which owns Stansted, said at the end of last month that the Government’s new restrictions on travel to Spain was ill thought out.

A spokesman for Easyjet said: “The collective consultation process is still ongoing and no decisions on the proposals to close the bases have yet been made. We have made good progress with Unite on the collective consultation process, having reached an agreement in principle on redundancy terms and selection criteria in the event the proposals are confirmed and we move towards individual consultation with our cabin crew. We also continue to work constructively with BALPA.”

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