easyJet is cutting fleet and crew in Berlin due to high airport costs and insufficient demand
easyJet Cuts Jobs
easyJet has announced they will be rolling back their service at Berlin Brandenburg Airport, starting winter 2022. The low-cost carrier will reduce its fleet at the airport from 18 to 11 aircraft, consequently cutting 275 cabin crew and pilot jobs as a result. The airline says the cuts are due to “increasing airport costs and a slower than expected recovery of demand in Germany”.
In a statement to Aerotime Hub, easyJet’s German Country Manager, Stephan Erler, said: “The expected demand for travel, high airport fees, and our efforts to optimize our network as a consequence of the pandemic mean it is necessary to restructure our operations,”. The company will hold talks with staff representatives over the proposed changes, and try to keep cuts to a minimum.
Germany’s United Services Trade Union (Ver.di) expressed disappointment over the airline’s decision, saying: “Especially now that air traffic is picking up, it’s incomprehensible. That’s how you alienate customers. easyJet’s planes are full,” Union secretary Holger Rößler told Tagesspiegel. “Apparently, it’s all about moving machines to other places, possibly to Spain or Portugal, to make a few euros more profit. The plans are a slap in the face for the workforce.” easyJet said it would try to move staff to roles at other airports where possible.
Other Airlines Swoop In
The laid-off cabin crew aren’t without hope, though. Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings has stepped in to offer easyJet employees new jobs. Their CEO Jens Bischof told the press the employees would receive an attractive job offer.
The battle for employees is fierce, as airlines struggle to recoup staff lost over the pandemic. Poaching crew from other carriers has been a common tactic, with both BA and easyJet offering £1000 starting bonuses to staff who join before summer. easyJet has even removed seats from their A319s so that they can operate flights with fewer crew.
In light of staffing struggles, the low-cost carrier will be keen to keep hold of laid-off staff.
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