EasyJet cancels all flights and grounds planes indefinitely due to coronavirus – The Sun

EasyJet has grounded its entire fleet of aircraft due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The airline has  said that it cannot give a date for when it will start flying planes again – but its staff are currently being given a two-month leave of absence, meaning the measures will last at least until June.

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The Luton-based carrier said the measure "removes significant cost" as the aviation industry struggles to cope with a collapse in demand caused by the outbreak of the virus.

It insisted it "maintains a strong balance sheet" and revealed it is in "ongoing discussions with liquidity providers".

The airline also announced it has reached an agreement with union Unite on furlough arrangements for its cabin crew.

The deal will be effective from Wednesday for a two-month period and means cabin crew will be paid 80 per cent of their average pay through the Government job retention scheme.

The airline said in a statement: "As a result of the unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of national lockdowns across many European countries, easyJet has, today, fully grounded its entire fleet of aircraft.

"Over recent days easyJet has been helping to repatriate customers, having operated more than 650 rescue flights to date, returning home more than 45,000 customers.

"The last of these rescue flights were operated on Sunday March 29. We will continue to work with government bodies to operate additional rescue flights as requested.

"At this stage there can be no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights. We will continuously evaluate the situation based on regulations and demand, and will update the market when we have a view."


The Sun previously revealed easyJet’s pilots yesterday turned down the airline’s bid to tear up their contracts and adopt a ‘coronavirus cooperation agreement’.

The no-frills airline wanted crew and pilots to take three months unpaid leave as up to 3,000 staff face losing their jobs.

Foreign travel has plummeted across Europe as countries enforce travel bands to try and curb the spread of coronavirus.

On March 17, the Foreign Secretary announced Brits shouldn't travel anywhere outside the UK for at least 30 days to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Dominic Raab told the entire nation to stay put unless it is absolutely essential – cancelling all holidays and trips – as he updated the country's travel advice this afternoon.

That same week, the EU said it would ban all external travel for a month to try to stop the spread of the virus.

EasyJet cabin crew will join doctors and nurses in staffing the new Nightingale hospitals built to deal with the pandemic, the NHS has said.

Staff at EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic have been invited to volunteer at the new 4,000-bed clinic being built at the Excel centre in east London, and those planned in Birmingham and Manchester.


British Airways

British Airways have moved stopped all London City flights, and are reducing their services solely operating from London Heathrow.

Limited flights to Europe are still flying as well as Tokyo and Singapore


More than 90 per cent of Ryanair planes are now grounded, with the remaining aircraft used to provide repatriation and rescue flights.

All flights could be suspended until June.

The remaining routes from the UK are to Dublin, as well as some destinations in Europe including Lisbon, Berlin and Budapest.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic have stopped all flights from the UK apart from flights from London Heathrow, after cutting the fleet by 85 per cent.

Some flights to the US, as well as to Paris and Amsterdam are still in operation.

The airline states on their website that they have "no further relief flights operating".


Jet2 have stopped all commercial flights until April and May, depending on the destination.

The airline is only flying repatriation flights to rescue stranded passengers, with flights to France, Spain, Hungary and Austria.

Many first-aid trained cabin crew across the world have been grounded as countries have closed borders and cancelled flights amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

EasyJet has already written to its 9,000 UK-based staff including 4,000 cabin crew trained in CPR to invite them to give their time to the NHS.

Virgin Atlantic will begin writing to 4,000 of its employees on Monday and will prioritise getting in touch with those who already have the required skills.

Those who join up will be given expert training and will then perform support roles such as changing beds under the guidance of trained nurses.

EasyJet has said it is "proud" its staff can support medics at this "crucial time".

Tina Milton, director of cabin services, added: "The NHS is at the forefront of dealing with this health emergency but the training and skills our cabin crew have, working closely with the medical professionals, could help make a real difference."


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The move to ground the planes comes just days after the airline'sunder-fire boss Peter Bellew was forced to make a second apology in two days after slamming the “ridiculous hype” surrounding coronavirus.

Speaking from Gatwick’s crew room, the airline chief said in a video to staff: “Despite all the ridiculous hype that is going on about the virus we had full first wave operating and great cooperation from the crew.”

He then told of the importance of all cabin crew reporting for duty despite the impact of the deadly virus.

Mr Bellew said: “While we have less passenger numbers we really need to focus on better on-time performance.

“I need everybody please to show up for work at the moment and inspire of all the ridiculous press coverage it is getting.

“We will do the safe thing by our customers and our staff.”

The airline has already launched their winter sale too, with £29.99 flights to Europe – despite the current uncertainty of how long the coronavirus pandemic will affect travel.

The flights are available for travel between 25 October 2020 and 28 February 2021.

The new flights are available for all passengers to book, but are also available for passengers who have had their current flights affected by the travel ban.

The new routes provide more options for people who need to move their flights to a later date.

With the flight change fee also waived, it means travellers have more choice of flight options to be able to move their current cancelled flights for their next holiday.

It is also the first time that easyJet flights have cost a flat fee of £29.99, including taxes and charges.

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