EasyJet to reduce operations in Italy
In the midst of new lockdown measures, low cost carrier EasyJet will reorganize its operations in Italy.
The carrier plans to reduce its operations in three national airports: Milan Malpensa (MXP), Venice Marco Polo (VCE) and Naples Capodichino (NAP). EasyJet will reduce its fleet by 9 planes, bringing the total number from 36 to 27 aircraft.
In MXP, the number of aircraft will be reduced from 22 to 21, while in NAP and VCE the number will be reduced from 7 to 4 and 2 respectively.
It is not yet clear how the plan will affect the 1,500 EasyJet employees in Italy who are on rotating layoffs until March 2021. On November 25, 2020, EasyJet told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that the company had started talks with trade unions and would try to minimize the social impact.
“Italy remains a key market, but without a structural reduction in costs and support for the sector by the institutions, the possibility of a real recovery in the sector is precluded,” said Lorenzo Lagorio, EasyJet’s Italy country manager.
Lagorio also reiterated the importance of governmental support. “I want to strongly reaffirm easyJet's commitment to our country which is, and remains, one of the company's main European markets and where we will continue to be one of the main operators, leaders in national and international connections. We continue to cry out for a decisive intervention from the Italian government with measures that protect the sector as a whole and encourage the recovery of air traffic.”
EasyJet announced it would run a maximum of 20% of planned flights until the end of 2020. The airline has cut its flight schedule after the introduction of new lockdown measures in the UK and Europe.
On November 17, 2020, EasyJet reported a first ever loss of €1.4 billion for the year to the end of September 2020. The airline also announced that the number of passengers dropped by 50% to 48.1 million, compared to 96.1 million travelers in 2019.
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