easyJet Statement – fleet grounding
From Jersey Airport
30th March 2020
The following statement from easyJet was released to the media on Monday 30.03.20:
EASYJET STATEMENT – FLEET GROUNDING
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 29 March. 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.
We continue to take every action to remove cost and non-critical expenditure from the business at every level in order to help mitigate the impact from the coronavirus. The grounding of aircraft removes significant cost.
easyJet maintains a strong balance sheet, with no debt re-financings due until 2022. We are in ongoing discussions with liquidity providers who recognise our strength of balance sheet and business model.
easyJet and Unite the union have collaboratively reached an agreement on furlough arrangements for its cabin crew. The agreement will be effective from 1 April 2020 for a period of two months and means that crew will be paid 80% of their average pay through the Government job retention scheme.
JohanLundgren, easyJet CEO said
“I am extremely proud of the way in which people across easyJet have given their absolute best at such a challenging time, including so many crew who have volunteered to operate rescue flights to bring our customers home. We are working tirelessly to ensure that easyJet continues to be well positioned to overcome the challenges of coronavirus.
As you can imagine, we are receiving an unprecedented number of enquiries at our call centres from customers whose flights have been cancelled, and who wish to defer to either a later date or obtain a refund.
Customers on cancelled flights can transfer to an alternative flight free of charge or receive a voucher for the value of their booking online or claim a refund through our contact centre. We are experiencing higher than average wait times so we would thank customers for their patience and want to assure them that these entitlements will be available long after their cancelled flight has flown.
For customers whose flights are not cancelled but would like to move to a later date they can amend their flight online with no change fee and we have brought forward our winter schedule on-sale so customers have more choice to move their flights, up to 28 February 2021.