EasyJet to close Newcastle, Southend and Stansted bases

The airline is trying to avoid involuntary layoffs.

UK-based easyJet will shut down three of its domestic operating bases on Aug. 31, yielding to the realities of the COVID-19 crisis.

The airline said it will will cease base operations at Newcastle (NCL), London Southend (SEN) and London Stansted (STN) airports.

“London Stansted and Newcastle will remain part of easyJet’s route network, and some domestic and international flights will continue to operate, served by inbound flying from other bases across the network,” easyJet said in a statement, suggesting the complete halt of SEN service.

“We will be informing affected customers of their options, which include transferring to another airport or receiving a full refund in the coming days.”

EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren added: “We have had to take the very difficult decision to close three UK bases as a result of the unprecedented impact of the pandemic and related travel restrictions, compounded by quarantine measures in the UK which is impacting demand for travel.”

Lundgren said the airline is trying to avoid involuntary layoffs. “Working closely with our employee representatives, I am pleased that we have been able to identify ways to significantly reduce the number of proposed compulsory redundancies through providing enhanced voluntary redundancy packages for all UK crew alongside additional options like part time and seasonal contracts, base transfers and unpaid leave which we expect to result in reducing the number of job losses overall,” he said.

The airline said that UK quarantine rules have “created uncertainty for customers and [had] an impact on demand for travel.” 

EasyJet will keep eight other UK bases open for the time being, serving over 490 routes.

Photo credit: London Southend Airport