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EasyJet cuts plane seats due to lack of post-Covid crew

EasyJet cuts plane seats due to lack of post-Covid crew

Low-cost airline EasyJet has decided to withdraw six seats from its A319 flights in the UK to tackle a staff shortage, which recently led to the cancellation of hundreds of its flights. The company announced the new strategy on Monday (9) as a way to reduce labor needs.

Low-cost airline EasyJet has decided to withdraw six seats from its A319 flights in the UK to tackle a staff shortage, which recently led to the cancellation of hundreds of its flights. The company announced the new strategy on Monday (9) as a way to reduce labor needs.

“INT his summer [no Hemisfério Norte]We will operate our A319 fleet in the UK with a maximum of 150 passengers on board [em comparação a 156 em outros voos] and its three-man crew, “instead of the usual four,” easyJet said in a statement.

These modifications relate to the 60 aircraft that make up the British company’s fleet of A319. EasyJet refers to acting in accordance with UK civil aviation rules, with one cabin crew member for every 50 seats.

The company explains that the last six seats on the plane are often reserved in the last days before departure and the company estimates that the effect of the measure will be limited to flight width during the Northern Hemisphere summer, from July to September. .

In early April, British EasyJet had to cancel hundreds of its flights, an average of 1,600 flights per day. The cancellations occurred because the employees contracted the COVID-19 virus. The sector particularly affected by health restrictions, At the height of the pandemic, aviation was beginning to see a rebound in demand.

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Difficulty hiring employees

EasyJet is trying to recruit staff, but that’s a tough job at the moment, as British airports and airlines, which have cut staff during the pandemic, are looking to hire all at the same time.

Reducing the number of seats on some aircraft is “an effective way to operate our fleet while increasing the resilience of our operations in the summer, when we expect to return to approximately 2019 flight levels,” easyJet estimates.

Passenger numbers have suddenly increased at European airports such as Heathrow (pictured); The company is facing difficulties in recruiting employees

Photo: PA Images via Getty Images

The company had indicated in mid-April that it expected a loss of between 535 million pounds and 565 million pounds in the six months to the end of March, less than the same period in 2021. The company says it is satisfied with the increase in bookings. .

European airports: a sudden increase in flights

At European airports, an unexpected increase in the number of passengers After the restrictions related to covid-19 expire, it presents a “challenge” for companies that have cut staff during the crisis.

“The immediate challenge is to manage the sudden increase in traffic, as one of the effects of the pandemic has been a reduction in airport resources and aircraft maintenance on the ground,” said the Director-General of ACI Europe. Olivier Jankovi? in a statement released on Thursday (5).

Stressing the need to hire new staff, he said it was impossible to “make adjustments overnight”, given safety aspects and required training deadlines. The day before, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the world’s leading airline association, called for the situation to be addressed “urgently”.

(With information from AFP and RFI)