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LONDON, UK - British budget specialist easyJet is planning plans to close bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, and cut staff.

It follows an announcement by the airline that it may need to reduce staff numbers by up to a third because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Unite union said nearly 1,300 UK crew members faced losing their jobs.

Pilots' union Balpa said it had been told by EasyJet that 727 of its UK-based pilots were also at risk of redundancy. That is equivalent to one in three of its pilots, Balpa said.

"The lower demand environment means we need fewer aircraft and have less opportunity to work for our people. We are committed to working constructively with our employee representatives across the network with the aim of minimizing job losses as far as possible,"

easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said.

However, Balpa general secretary Brian Stratton said the job cuts were "an excessive over-reaction".

"EasyJet won't find a supply of pilots waiting to come back when the recovery takes place over the next two years. And Unite said the plan to make 1,290 cabin crew redundant was a "massive blow" for a "battered industry".

Easyjet currently has 11 bases in the UK, with 163 aircraft, serving 546 routes. Even though it is looking at closing the Stansted, Southend and Newcastle bases, it said the airports would remain part of its route network.

That means it will continue to fly in and out but will not have aircraft and crew based permanently at the airports.
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