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Wuhan coronavirus: EasyJet cancels flights and takes emergency actions

Christian Fernsby |
EasyJet said it would cancel flights and introduce emergency cost cuts after the coronavirus outbreak caused a drop in demand for flights in and out of Italy and across Europe.

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EasyJet said the fall in demand and load factors for Italy was significant and that business was weaker in other European markets. EasyJet announced a series of extraordinary measures in an attempt to mitigate the impact of Wuhan coronavirus on its business.

EasyJet said it would cut administrative spending; freeze recruitment, promotion and pay; and postpone non critical capital spending. It will also offer staff unpaid leave, stop non mandatory training and press suppliers for price cuts.

"While it is too early to determine what the impact of the COVID 19 outbreak will be on current year outlook and guidance for both the airline and holidays business, we continue to monitor the situation carefully and will update the market in due course," easyJet said.

The airline said it had a working group spanning its business that meets daily to make sure processes and policies are effective. It said its plan for dealing with communicable diseases is based on the SARS epidemic and other global health emergencies.

"EasyJet is working closely with authorities and are following the guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation and EASA to ensure the health and wellbeing of our people and customers," the company said.

EasyJet said it would reorganise its summer 2020 flights to maximise revenue for when the market recovers.

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