EasyJet grounds entire fleet of planes over coronavirus pandemic

EasyJet has grounded its entire fleet of planes due to the coronavirus crisis.

The budget airline says it does not know when it will return and that staff have been placed on furlough.

It 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 company has worked with union Unite to agree two-month furlough arrangements for cabin crew which means that crew will be paid 80% of their average pay through the Government job retention scheme.

The Luton-based carrier said the measure of grounding its fleet "removes significant cost".

  • Airline promises to pay passengers £7k if they catch coronavirus on flights

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

It comes as the aviation industry continues to be hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lockdown orders have been imposed in countries around the world, including travel restrictions.

After UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people to stay inside, he also announced advised against any travel for at least one month.

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