EasyJet Job Cuts: Just How Big is the Airline?

Following easyJet’s announcement that it plans to cut up to 30% of its workforce - around 4,500 jobs – we are examining just how big the low-cost carrier is. Data provided by travel industry analytics firm, Cirium shows that the airline operated flights to more than 120 airports before the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to ground its entire fleet.

In February alone, the European company was scheduled to fly more than 8,900 flights (one-way) a week, with 1,000 of them being domestic UK connections.

Within the British domestic market, easyJet is the largest carrier by seats available with a 36% share of capacity, followed by British Airways with 27%.

The operator’s top five UK airports including London/Gatwick, London/Luton, Belfast, Bristol and Manchester, all of which have 850, 372, 294, 264 and 232 flights per week, respectively.

In the same month, the carrier’s top European airport for flights per week was Gatwick, followed by Geneva with 522. Berlin/Tegel, London/Luton and Amsterdam/Schiphol followed with 396, 372 and 353 services per week, respectively.

As for Intra-Europe connections, the low-cost carrier has the second largest capacity share by seats available with 8% after Ryanair which had 13%. In comparison, British Airways holds only 4% of European capacity.

EasyJet Airbus A321neo
The European carrier currently has 339 aircraft in its fleet but expects to reduce that number to around 302 by the end of 2021. Flickr Commons/Alan Wilson

EasyJet’s top five routes in terms of scheduled seats available include Gatwick to Geneva and Amsterdam, Paris/Orly to Toulouse/Blagnac, Luton to Amsterdam and Orly to Nice.

As a group, the firm currently holds a fleet of 339 aircraft made up entirely of Airbus A320 Family variants. By the end of 2021, the airline expects to have reduced this number to around 302, which is 51 lower than previously anticipated. The fleet downsizing will be achieved through the deferral of new aircraft deliveries and the re-delivery of leased examples.

The firm is planning to resume flying on June 15 after a company-wide grounding in March following the collapse in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO commented: “Although we will restart flying on June 15, we expect demand to build slowly, only returning to 2019 levels in about three years' time.

“As a result, we anticipate reducing staff numbers by up to 30% across the business and we will continue to remove cost and non-critical expenditure at every level. We will be launching an employee consultation over the coming days.”