After completing over 600 repatriation flights in aide of getting travelers back from places abroad, the EasyJet fleet is now grounded, until further notice. The airline built up an incredible route network in recent years, including over 1,051 routes and counting, but that number is now a great big zero, with many uncertainties remaining.
EasyJet now joins Ryanair and others on the sidelines of the European low-cost-carrier market, as the world waits to see just how long covid-19 maintains its crippling stranglehold on the world. With borders closed, and demand into the single digits, there’s no way to justify flying.
Plus, everyone should #stayhome.
It could be a couple months, but it could be years. Until more is known, the airline isn’t flying anywhere. The airline made headlines for a variety of reasons in recent weeks, including a proposal to remove free meals for crew working flights, launched at the same time billionaire owner Stelios Haji- Ioannou withdrew £60 million from the airline.
Reports in the Financial Times suggest EasyJet has the cash to last 10 months without flying, but moves by the airline call these figures into question. EasyJet launched £29.99 flights for winter 2020 and into 2021 this week, in effort to boost cash reserves, and has been in talks with UK authorities about a potential bailout, or a state backed equity position.
Put simply – it may not have that long.
EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic joined forces with the UK’s NHS this week, with job offers for furloughed workers to assist in Nightingale Hospitals being built across Britain to help doctors and nurses cope with unprecedented demand and need.
For now, EasyJet is a brand with lots of orange planes parked in airports across Europe, but you won’t see any orange wing tips in the skies anytime soon. For 15,000 EasyJet team members, it’s a very sad day.
EasyJet provides vital competition in the low cost travel market of Europe, and with fewer airlines in the future, customers would be unlikely to find such competitive deals. Let’s hope recovery comes sooner than later.