EasyJet grounds entire fleet of planes amid 'significant cost' to aviation industry

AN AIRLINE company has pulled the plug on all its flights due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday, 30th March 2020, 7:47 am
Updated Monday, 30th March 2020, 9:30 am

EasyJet has grounded its fleet to remove the ‘significant cost’ of operation, after the virus outbreak disintegrated demand in the travel industry.

It insisted it ‘maintains a strong balance sheet’ and revealed it is in ‘ongoing discussions with liquidity providers’.

The airline also announced it has reached an agreement with union Unite on furlough arrangements for its cabin crew.

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EasyJet. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

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The deal will be effective from Wednesday for a two-month period and means cabin crew will be paid 80 per cent of their average pay through the Government job retention scheme.

It comes after fellow airline company FlyBe went into administration earlier this month, with Loganair and Eastern Airways announcing that they would pick up some of the routes.

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Portsmouth has increased to 70, as of March 29.

Coronavirus: the facts

What is coronavirus?

Covid-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What caused coronavirus?

The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

What are the symptoms?

The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS