PHOTO: easyJet

MIAMI – easyJet (U2) with the prospect of a national lockdown in the UK on Thursday is set to cut hundreds of flights from London Gatwick Airport (LGW).

Such a shift away from LGW parallels that of British Airways (BA) as airlines are forced to consolidate with declining passenger numbers.

While U2 had originally planned to cut a third of company jobs as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on but has secured agreements with unions to limit such redundancies.

easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren referred to future job losses as “something that we need to continue to monitor” with a looming desire for state aid.

easyJet Airbus A320-200 landing at Bristol Airport. Photo: Adrian Pingstone.

Bring in the Aid

Lundgren of the need for state aid added that “the government has recognised the need to directly support the hospitality sector, where decisions have directly affected its ability to trade. The same principle needs to be applied to aviation. The government’s own statistics show that activity in aviation is already 90% down on pre-pandemic levels, yet to date the government has still failed to provide any sector specific support.”

While U2 secured a GPB£600m loan from the Bank of England in April, Lundgren said he does not believe that the share of aid has been enough while warning that foreign airlines could use greater state aid to “grab market share.”

U2 reportedly still has a high demand for passengers, with Lundgren claiming that when the Canary Islands were put on a quarantine exemption list sales were “through the roof”.

With U2 allegedly “hanging by a thread” in September while continuing to raise liquidity by selling aircraft, the airline is in dire need of assistance either through a resurgence in travel or state aid amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Featured image: easyJet