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easyJet to close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle

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easyJet has announced today that it is to close its bases at London Stansted, London Southend and Newcastle subject to a legally required consultation process.

It has also opened consultations over a 30% cut in staff numbers.  BALPA has said that 727 pilots will be made redundant.

The closures do not necessarily mean the end of easyJet flights at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle.  It is likely that the airline will fly there from other hubs, using crew based there.  It will mean the end of services to non-hub airports as well as redundancy for the cabin crew, pilots and maintenance staff based at the three airports.

easyJet to close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Bristol

Stansted and Newcastle have been in decline for some time

Stansted and Newcastle have both become substantially less important to easyJet over the last decade.  Many Stansted services have moved to London Gatwick as the airline secured more landing slots, whilst Newcastle seems to have proven less lucrative than alternative destinations.

According to anna.aero data, easyJet flew 34% fewer seats from Stansted in 2019 vs 2010, whilst at Newcastle the decline was 27% over the same period.

Southend has never really found its feet, despite huge investment in the airport by Stobart Group.  It is unclear what sort of future it may have – part of the strategy was for bankrupt Flybe, part owned by Stobart Group, to move an increasing number of flights there.

In a media statement, Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO, said:

“These are very difficult proposals to put forward in what is an unprecedented and difficult time for the airline and the industry as a whole.  We are focused on doing what is right for the company and its long term health and success so we can protect jobs going forward.”

“Unfortunately the lower demand environment means we need fewer aircraft and have less opportunity for work for our people – we are committed to working constructively with our employee representatives across the network with the aim of minimising job losses as far as possible.”

In a separate announcement, it was announced that Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and his family had not taken part in the recent rights issue.  This has led to Sir Stelios seeing his shareholding drop beyond the key 30% level.  Under takeover rules, he cannot increase it back beyond 30% without making a full takeover offer.

Comments (32)

  • Nori says:

    BA Gatwick flight has been cancelled, then moved to Heathrow with the same flight number and same times. I’ve automatically been rebooked on the new flight.
    So only the departing airport has changed from LGW to LHR. Do I have the right to a full refund if I choose not to fly?

  • ADS says:

    “This has led to Sir Stelios seeing his shareholding drop beyond the key 30% level”

    as well as meaning he can’t increase back over 30% without a formal takeover – presumably it also means that his threats against the board now have less weight ?

    • Rhys says:

      Definitely!

    • Lady London says:

      Got a feeling they will be looking to dump that shareholding sometime – but now is not the time.

      Could get interesting if there is consolidation in the airline business in about 5 years if it picks up again. I happen to think Sir Stelios was completely right about too many new aircraft.being ordered and that was before covid. I think they are a very well run airline and, if the industry picks up, Stelios’s shareholding may turn out to still be pivotal.

  • Ann Lyall says:

    I live in France, my family in Essex, Nice – Stansted several times a year is perfect for us. Nice – Gatwick is not an option, M25 etc is a nightmare,neither is Ryanair or BA London City. I am over 80, the thought of seeing less of my family would be heartbreaking, as a last resort I guess would be to live in UK…………