easyJet may close three of its UK bases
easyJet yesterday started formal consultation on proposals with employee representatives including BALPA and UNITE on all of its UK based pilots and crew. The proposals include the potential closing of three of its bases in the UK – London Stansted, London Southend, and Newcastle. These airports would remain part of easyJet’s route network. easyJet had indicated that the would need to reduce their staff by up to 4,500 people.
The company say that they are fully committed to work closely with employee representatives during these consultations with the aim of minimising job losses as far as possible.
In line with IATA projections, easyJet believes that the levels of market demand seen in 2019 are not likely to be reached again until 2023.
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.
“These proposals are no reflection on our people at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, who have all worked tirelessly and have been fully committed to providing great service for our customers.”
easyJet currently bases 163 aircraft in the UK at 11 bases, serving 546 routes and is one of the largest UK airlines alongside BA and Ryanair. easyJet will continue to review its network and bases so there could be further cuts.
Fortunately, easyJet are short haul based and are in a better position to recover more quickly than an airline like Virgin that is solely long-haul. Given that many European countries are reopening to UK visitors and the likelihood of air bridges, European routes will recover much faster than routes such as the US and Asia which are largely still under travel bans.
Aspire Lounge to open at Heathrow T5
Following on from my article on when airport lounges are likely to open, Reader David commented to say that Aspire has contacted him to say that the Heathrow Terminal 5 lounge will be open from 11 July. Thanks for the information!
Lufthansa launches its own airport COVID-19 testing
In a sign of what may become the same in almost every airport, CENTOGENE, a company focused on rare diseases has partnered exclusively with Lufthansa and with Fraport, the operator of Frankfurt Airport, to offer COVID-19 testing to passengers flying to and from Frankfurt Airport (FRA). This is a walk-in testing centre in Frankfurt airport. In many countries such as Barbados, passengers will not be allowed to enter without prior COVID-19 testing. Usually, there is a requirement to have a test within 72 hours of arrival which is not always easy to range, particularly for a long journey. I predict that within a couple of months most major airports will have these. Frankly, this is probably one of the best ways to allow us to start travelling again and limit the spread of coronavirus too. It’s not fool-proof but it would catch the majority of cases.
The exclusive partnership for Frankfurt Airport with Lufthansa and Fraport starts immediately, and is expected to run until July 31, 2021.
Passengers flying to or from Frankfurt Airport with Lufthansa will be able to perform the test at a sampling center conveniently located near the main terminal. This can either be completed the day before traveling or with a fast track solution the same day before departure. All results are delivered to the passenger via a secure digital platform and connected to their ticket – providing secured clearance for passengers flying to countries with entrance restrictions. Additionally, passengers can opt into an ID confirmation service, assuring authorities that the passengers’ identities correspond with the test results.
Dr. Volkmar Weckesser, CENTOGENE Chief Information Officer, stated, “Over the past months, global air travel has been critically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – preventing individuals from traveling home, attending business meetings, and going on trips that were planned months in advance. Through our partnership with Lufthansa and our medical partner Dr. Bauer Laboratoriums GmbH, we can ensure a quick, accurate, and secure end-to-end solution that safely reopens air travel and further supports a return to a new normal for our societies and economies.”
“By opening the test center, we are offering our guests a comfortable opportunity to test themselves for flights abroad or a stay in Germany to avoid quarantine,” said Dr. Björn Becker, Senior Director Product Management Ground & Digital Services at Lufthansa Group. “Even in these challenging times, we are using our innovative strength and strong partnerships with CENTOGENE and Frankfurt Airport to ensure that our customers have a safe and relaxing travel experience.”
Daniela Weiss, Fraport Vice President Duty Management Terminals, said: “We are happy to offer passengers this new service at Frankfurt Airport. This is another example of how Frankfurt Airport, together with its partners, is pioneering the development of innovative passenger services. This service ensures a safe and relaxed travel experience at Germany’s global gateway, even during these times.”
The prices are not too bad and involve a throat swab.
- €59 – receive results within 6-8 hours if the sample is taken between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. (if the sample is taken after 3 p.m. the report is delivered by 12 p.m. the next day)
- €139 – for an Express Test – receive results within 3 hours if the sample is taken between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. (if the sample is taken after 3 p.m. the report is delivered by 11 a.m. the next day)
- You also have to pay an extra €9 for the certificate which is recognised as an official document.
Lufthansa are also due to launch a similar test centre in Munich. You can find the details of how to arrange the test here.
Vienna offers tests on arrivals for a fee and the UK is also looking at doing something similar.