Between the heavy travel restrictions and self-quarantines that have been put in place due to the coronavirus-outbreak/” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>COVID-19 pandemic, easyJet has decided to ground its entire fleet until further notice.
“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,” a spokesperson for the airline said a statement with coronavirus-pandemic-easyjet-grounds-entire-fleet-during-outbreak” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>Fox News.
For the next two months, crew members and easyJet employees will be paid 80 percent of their average wages, effective April 1.
“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,” Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said in the Monday statement. “We are working tirelessly to ensure that EasyJet continues to be well positioned to overcome the challenges of coronavirus.”
In the meantime, easyJet has asked loyal customers and those affected by the temporary grounding to remain patient.
“For customers on canceled flights, please remember that you do not have to contact us prior to your original flight date. Please be assured that your entitlements in case of canceled flights are available for up to a year after your flight was originally due to depart,” the carrier wrote via Twitter.
With covid-19-travel-restrictions.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>little demand for commercial flights during the pandemic, the airline has instead been using its resources to launch over 650 rescue flights to return over 45,000 people to their home countries. easyJet’s last rescue flight flew out on March 29, though the airline will continue to work with government agencies to operate further potential rescue flights in the future.
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New United CEO Scott Kirby Comes Out Firing
United Airlines’ Scott Kirby, who took over as CEO last week in the wake of Oscar Munoz’s retirement, is wasting no time establishing his authority.
Kirby cut 13 high-level executives in a cash-saving move on Friday as the coronavirus pandemic has throttled the industry financially. A day earlier, he told an online investor conference that the airline absolutely would not declare bankruptcy, and that he thought flying was safe enough to not block the middle seats on planes from being sold.
Well, he did build a reputation as an open – some might say abrasive – executive while at American Airlines.
Kirby is eliminating 13 of United’s 67 officer positions, all effective on Oct. 1. That’s the day after the restrictions on firing employees runs out per the federal government’s rules for airlines accepting billions of dollars in stimulus package grants and loans.
“While there are glimmers of good news in our July schedule — we expect to be down about 75% versus 90% right now — travel demand is still a very long way from where it was at the end of last year and the financial impact on our business remains severe,” United said in a written statement as reported by CNBC.
The cuts are in response to the loss of nearly 90 percent of business for United and all airlines, as the demand for travel has dropped dramatically compared to last year and beyond.
But Kirby defiantly said during the investor conference a day before that he has no plans for the airline to go bankrupt.
“Zero percent, no chance,” Kirby said. “It’s worse for shareholders. It’s worse for creditors. It’s worse for employees. It’s worse for every constituent that we have.”
To that end, Kirby also said he won’t sacrifice potential sales by blocking middle seats, as some airlines have done. As the blog The Points Guy noted, Kirby said the airline’s cleaning process, air circulation and a requirement for passengers and crew to wear face masks make it a safe experience.
“Airplanes don’t have social distancing — we’re not going to be six feet apart,” he said. “But an airplane environment is incredibly safe.”
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