There will be no compulsory pilot redundancies at EasyJet, after 1,500 crewmembers opted to cut the number of hours they work.
Trade union BALPA had previously warned that 727 pilots at the UK-based low-cost carrier were at risk of being made redundant.
The union now says “there has been a huge community effort to do everything possible to reduce the need for compulsory measures, which has resulted in 60 pilots leaving voluntarily and a further 1,500 opting for part-time work”.
It adds that all pilots based at Newcastle and London’s Southend and Stansted airports, where EasyJet has closed its bases, will be offered jobs elsewhere on the carrier’s UK network.
EasyJet says it “worked closely with the union to find alternative options for pilots who were at risk of redundancy”, and confirms that it was “able to offer part-time and seasonal contracts as well as relocation to our other bases to all pilots from the closing bases, alongside accepting 60 requests for voluntary redundancy”.
While it is awaiting the return of some signed contracts, the airline says it is “hopeful that when the process is completed there should be no need for any compulsory redundancies”.
In July, more than 2,000 EasyJet pilots had voted to express no confidence in the airline’s chief operating officer, Peter Bellew, in what BALPA described as a “serious and widening rift” between crewmembers and management. However, the union says a “breakthrough” was later achieved in negotiations.
“Each pilot who has volunteered to work less has done so because he or she wants to help colleagues keep their jobs,” states Sean Casey, chairman of BALPA’s EasyJet branch. “We’ve had tough talks, but in the end we have come to a sensible and fair arrangement in light of the crisis the whole aviation sector is facing.”