Low-cost European carrier EasyJet has announced plans to slash its workforce by up to 30% as it overhauls operations to reflect reduced demand for air travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The company said in a statement Thursday that it will start a consultation with employees in the coming days to reduce staff numbers. It will also slash its fleet size, make changes to its flight network and find “more efficient ways of working.”
EasyJet has over 15,000 employees, according to its most recent annual report, suggesting that as many as 4,500 jobs could be eliminated.
“We want to ensure that we emerge from the pandemic an even more competitive business than before,” CEO Johan Lundgren said in a statement, adding that the company “will continue to remove cost and non-critical expenditure at every level.”
EasyJet (ESYJY) typically operates about 2,000 flights a day across 36 countries, mostly in Europe. The airline grounded all 334 of its planes at the end of March due to travel restrictions and furloughed 4,000 UK cabin crew. It later tapped the UK government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility to raise £600 million ($746.6 million).