EASYJET has announced on its website it has grounded “around 30 percent” all flights as it responds to coronavirus.
The airline said in a statement: “Due to the unprecedented level of travel restrictions being imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and significantly reduced levels of customer demand, easyJet has undertaken further significant cancellations.
“These actions will continue on a rolling basis for the foreseeable future and could result in the grounding of the majority of the easyJet fleet.
“EasyJet will continue to operate rescue flights for short periods where we can, in order to repatriate customers.”
An EasyJet spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “As per our RNS to the market this morning we been required to ground 100 out of 344 aircraft and by the end of April around 30 percent of flights, so we continue to operate the majority of our programme.”
Yesterday routes to Morocco were cancelled. In a statement the airline said: “Moroccan authorities have implemented strict travel restrictions and, as a result, easyJet will cancel all flights between France, Germany, Switzerland and Morocco. We are currently planning some new flights to help people return home – please bear with us.
“As soon as these flights have been scheduled, we will update them here. You will also be able to re-book onto these flights via Manage bookings as soon as they are available.”
The airline will be getting those in the country home, but outgoing flights are cancelled.
The same is true of Spain, Italy and Israel.
EasyJet said of Spain: “We will be operating our normal schedule on Sunday 15 and Monday 16 March to try and allow as many people as possible to return home.
EasyJet has “cancelled a number of flights” to and from Italy.
For travellers hoping to go to Israel, the airline has warned: “Following an Israeli Government travel restrictions update, easyJet has been advised that passengers who have travelled internationally and who are not Israeli citizens must prove they have a residential address and phone number where they can self-isolate for 14 days in order to be admitted to the country. Israeli citizens will also be required to self-isolate on their return to Israel.
“As a result of this, we would advise passengers to ensure that they can meet these requirements in order to fly with us. easyJet’s flights to and from Israel continue to operate.”
Nigel Frith, a senior market analyst at www.asktraders.com, commented: “As the number of countries shutting down borders and the list of destinations suspending flights grows the aviation industry is facing an unprecedented challenge.
“Staff are starting to be laid off as airlines struggle to rein in costs quickly in an attempt to weather the biggest crisis to hit the industry, worse than 9/11. This is no longer just the smaller players like Flybe who are being affected. Industry big shots such as British Airways is even warning over its survival. It wouldn’t be surprising if governments are forced to step in to prop up some airlines.”