North East UK news easyJet, Ryanair and TUI updates as airlines face cancellations and cuts MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Covid-19 has caused major disruption to the airline industry with thousands of job loses and flights and holidays cancelled
Breaking News ! Covid-19 has caused chaos for many UK industries, but few have been harder hit than the airline sector. Major holiday operators including easyJet and British Airways have announced cutbacks and redundancies, while thousands of holidays have been cancelled as the UK government continues to advise against all but essential travel. Many flights are expected to resume in the coming weeks: but airlines still face serious disruption. Greece, which had been set to welcome UK holidaymakers back to the country last month, yesterday said it would be extending its ban on travellers from the pandemic-hit country, forcing many airlines to cancel flights. The shock news of easyJet's departure from Newcastle Airport yesterday caused concern across the North East. And Ryanair has been ordered to suspend flights to Spain from another UK airport. We've rounded up some of the major problems which have hit the airline industry over the last few months. Read More Related Articles easyJet closure at Newcastle Airport: what it means for passengers Read More Related Articles Grand Central announces 'measured return' of North East trains from July 26 Greece extends UK ban On Tuesday, Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis confirmed that no flights from the UK will be allowed until 15 July. Greeks, who have suffered just 191 deaths due to coronavirus, are concerned about allowing people from the UK, which has the fifth-highest number of coronavirus cases in the world, into the country. easyJet, TUI, Ryanair, Jet2 and British Airways were all forced to cancel flights to Greece, which were expected to resume on June 15, and then July 1. That's depsite TUI saying last week that it would restart flights on July 11. Greece reopened its borders to other international visitors on Wednesday. Ryanair ordered to cancel flights to Faro and Malaga Budget airline Ryanair has been told to cancel flights from Cardiff Airport by the Welsh Government. They want the company to scrap planned flights to Faro in Portugal and Malaga in Spain this Friday because of lockdown restrictions. The Welsh Government, which wholly owns the airport, still has a legal five mile restriction for non-essential travel in place and people are required to ‘stay local’ in Wales. So anyone travelling further than five miles to the airport for a holiday would be breaking the rules. Read more on this story here. easyJet cutbacks EasyJet dropped bombshell news that it plans to close its regional hub at Newcastle airport later this year, resulting in significant job losses. However, summer flights from Newcastle will not be affected by the decision to close its hub at the airport. The airline, which has flown from Newcastle since 2003, has around 150 staff at the airport and flights to a host of destinations including Barcelona, Malaga, Alicante, Corfu, Malta, Nice and Geneva. Some flights later in the year could be affected if schedules change, but the firm said that flights from the airport remain on sale and the airport will continue to be part of easyJet’s route network. Find out more about what the move means for Newcastle here. EasyJet will also close bases at Stansted and Southend, and axe 727 pilots.
. TUI said they had made the decision "due to the ongoing uncertainty around international travel restrictions and the unprecedented impact of Covid-19". The company said in a statement: "The decision has been made following new health and safety measures implemented at Walt Disney World to ensure the safety of its guests. "These changes would significantly impact the holiday experience for many Tui customers who plan their magical and often once in a lifetime Florida holiday." BA job losses British Airways could make up to 12,000 employees redundant in light of the pandemic. In April, the airline began a consultation on plans which could see up to 12,000 people laid off, while some could be re-hired for jobs with reduced pay and conditions. BA says it is "acting to protect jobs" as the industry faces "its deepest structural change in its history". But unions accuse the airline of exploiting the pandemic to cut costs. There have been protests about the plans in Newcastle - read more about these here.
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Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic cut staff Virgin Atlantic is to axe more than 3,000 jobs and close its base at Gatwick Airport in London. Trade unions and staff were briefed about the redundancies on Tuesday May 5, reports Sky News. It has been reported Virgin's seven Boeing 747s are to be retired while the airline's fleet is reduced from 43 planes to 36. The airline has around 10,000 UK staff and operates out of Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester airports. A total of 3,150 jobs are at risk. Ryanair makes redundancies On May 1, ChronicleLive reported that up to 3,000 jobs, mainly pilots and cabin crew, could be lost at Ryanair. The planned job cuts were announced as Ryanair revealed it expects to operate under 1% of its flying schedule between April and June. The job losses will mainly affect pilots and cabin crew but other members of staff may have to take unpaid leave or a 20% pay cut. Passenger levels are also not expected to return to pre-coronavirus levels for another two years.
'Air bridges' announced Ending on some slightly more positive airline news, passengers travelling between the UK and some countries will no longer have to quarantine after arrival, making holidays and shorter business trips possible. An initial list of countries which have agreed air bridges with the UK will be announced later this week, according to the BBC. More than 15 nations are thought to be on the list, including France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Norway and Finland. But it's not clear if Portugal, the first country to offer to partner up with Britain in this way, will be on the list, after a spike in cases in the country.
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