Airlines in talks to take canceled easyJet international flights from Newcastle airport


Discussions are underway with airlines on how to support international flights canceled by easyJet from Newcastle International Airport.The low cost airline said on Monday it was shutting down its North East base alongside London Stansted and Southend operations at the end of the month, putting 670 jobs at risk.

easyJet currently has three planes based at Newcastle Airport and operates up to 79 weekly departures to popular holiday destinations such as Alicante, Barcelona, ​​Corfu, Malaga and Split.

But the airline has decided to cut all international flights to the region as of September 1, putting thousands of vacations at risk.

The only exception to this rule will see flights continue to and from Nice, but only until the end of October. This means that Belfast and Bristol will be the only places its customers can travel to Newcastle.

Newcastle Airport has confirmed that it is in discussions with other airlines to establish their interest in the affected destinations.

A spokesperson said: “More than 80% of the international destinations concerned are already served by our existing airline partners and we will continue discussions regarding their interest in the other destinations concerned.

“For any passenger affected by a flight cancellation who wishes to rebook with another airline from Newcastle, parking reservations can be changed free of charge. “

An easyjet plane at Newcastle Airport

easyJet laid the groundwork on a closure notice in June and staff members were put on a 45-day consultation period as the airline sought to cut 1,290 jobs – the equivalent of 30% of its workforce. British work.

Cabin crew and pilots were part of the easyJet staff to join with union representatives staging protests outside Newcastle airport, urging the airline to change its mind on the closures.

Today, more than 150 workers in the Northeast are on the verge of losing their jobs, leaving them to fear what the future holds, the aviation industry hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Helen Beddowes, who has been an easyJet cabin crew member for 14 years, told ChronicleLive during a protest earlier this month: “It’s absolutely horrible. I grew up doing this. I’ve been doing this job for 14 years and it’s horrible. I don’t know what I’m going to do for an upcoming job. Jobs are going to be hard to find and I am just devastated.

“It’s not just a job for many of us, it’s a family. We are so passionate about our work. ”

easyJet has been flying from Newcastle Airport since 2003 and has 157 crew members departing from the airport.

Unite says local businesses, including hotels, taxi drivers and restaurants, will be significantly affected depending on the thousands of easyJet passengers traveling to and from Newcastle.

Members intend to keep the pressure on the airline by staging a fourth protest at Newcastle Airport on Thursday against the easyJet decision.

Claire Lees, organizer of Unite, said: “It’s absolutely devastating. I have worked closely with many members in Newcastle and it is difficult to put into words. They are heartbroken and worry about their future. People don’t know where they are going. job.

Pilots, cabin crew and family joined Unite representatives in the easyJet protest outside Newcastle Airport

“Cabin crew have highly transferable skills, but there is no job for people. These workers have bills to pay and for the husband and wife teams their entire families have been shaken by this decision.

“EasyJet has chosen the easy option which we consider permanent and severe. Covid-19 will not be here forever, so a temporary solution should be required.

“On reading the figures, they are set for a reduced workforce during the winter period. As summer begins, if people start flying again, they will likely have to consider hiring temporary staff.

“The Newcastle base is profitable for easyJet, but they say it’s not enough. EasyJet did not take any proposals from our representatives during the consultation process. It is as if the decision had been made before the consultation process began.

Newcastle Airport: Public health notices are posted outside the terminal.
Newcastle Airport

“We still have our petition asking the government to extend the leave program until March / April, like other European countries, to help save the aviation industry. ”

Customers have expressed their anger on social media after claiming they could still buy tickets for flights next year hours after Monday’s announcement.

easyJet has confirmed the issue has been resolved and customers are being contacted with information on how to request a refund.

An easyJet spokeswoman said: “Following yesterday’s decision by easyJet to close its Newcastle base, the airline’s affected flight cancellation program is underway.

“The September and October cancellations are completed today and we have an ongoing cancellation program and are communicating directly with affected customers.

“We have also prevented customers from making new reservations in the meantime.

“We would like to reassure customers that we contact those whose flights are affected with clear indications of their options, including switching to another free flight, receiving a voucher or a refund.

“Newcastle Airport will continue to be part of the easyJet route network and flights to Bristol, Belfast and Nice will therefore continue to operate. “


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