Easyjet removes seats from planes due to staff shortage

The company will now operate its fleet of A319s in the UK with up to 150 passengers on board compared to the usual 156, and three crew members instead of four.

Low-cost airline Easyjet, hit by staff shortages that recently forced it to cancel hundreds of flights, said on Monday it was removing six seats from its A319s in the UK to limit its staffing needs.

This summer we will be operating our A319 fleet in the UK with up to 150 passengers on board (compared to 156 in normal times, editors note) and three crew membersinstead of the usual four, Easyjet said in a statement to AFP. These amendments affect the 60 aircraft that make up the company’s UK fleet of A319s, indicating that they operate in accordance with UK civil aviation regulations, imposing one cabin crew member for every 50 seats. Easyjet had to cancel hundreds of flights in early April – on an average of 1,600 daily flights – largely as a result of workers sick with Covid-19, at a time when the airline industry, which was particularly affected by health restrictions at the height of the epidemic, is raise the question again.

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Limited impact

Easyjet is also struggling with recruiting as UK airports and airlines, which had cut staff during the pandemic, are now all looking for staff at the same time. The last six seats are most often reserved in the final days before departure and the company estimates that the impact on capacity will be limited during the summer. The reduction in the number of seats on certain aircraft is “an efficient way to operate our fleet while building resilience and flexibility into our operations this summer, where we expect to return to nearly 2019 flight levels“says Easyjet. The company had indicated in mid-April it expected a pre-tax loss of between £535 and 565 million for the six months ended March, down from the same period in 2021, and welcomed a strong rebound in bookings.

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