Jet2 to axe hundreds of pilots and cabin crew

Jet2 Holidays Boeing 737 (Image: Max Thrust Digital)
Jet2 Holidays Boeing 737 (Image: Max Thrust Digital)

Holiday airline Jet2 (LS/EXS) is set to cut 482 jobs as it seeks to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The airline is looking to cut its workforce by 380 Cabin Crew and 102 Pilots.

Staff were told of the cuts in a letter from Jet2 Chief Executive Steve Heapy in which he said: “The overall effect of these reduced programmes has been the need to sadly propose 380 redundancies amongst our cabin crew colleagues who are on a seasonal fixed term contract.

“I cannot tell you how much we regret these and other necessary proposed redundancies throughout the company as a result of the smaller flying and holidays programme.”

Unlike airlines like British Airways, Cabin Crew at Jet2 are not represented by unions. Pilots, however, are represented by the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA).

Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary, said: “This is yet more evidence, if it were needed, of the freefall in aviation, and the knee-jerk way airlines are responding, especially as lockdown is gradually being eased.

“Many of the pilots whose jobs are on the line in Jet2 have just recently moved there after having lost their jobs at Thomas Cook – these pilots have been through the mill already.

“Despite being one of our least union-friendly airlines, I hope Jet2 negotiates in good faith and works with us on how we can mitigate these proposed losses and see Jet2 thrive in the future.

“As difficult as our relationship with Jet2 undoubtedly is, the airline plays an extremely important role, especially at airports in the North, and we want it to succeed.

“Once again, I reiterate my call for the Government to step in, call for a job cuts moratorium, and work on a strategic support package to help this industry get through this crisis.”

It is understood that the majority of the job cuts will come from staff on seasonal contracts.

A spokesperson for the airline blamed uncertainty in relation to lockdown and the ongoing challenges of the pandemic saying “As a result, we have had to reassess and reduce our flying programme for the remainder of 2020 and for 2021. Sadly, the overall effect of these reductions has been the need to propose a number of colleague redundancies across our business.

“We cannot say how much we regret these proposed redundancies and we will be consulting with appropriate representatives of the affected Colleagues in order to ensure that all options and issues are fully considered.

“Whilst we have every confidence that we will bounce back from the unprecedented demands currently placed on the Company, we sadly do have to make difficult decisions in the current climate.

“We very much look forward to growth returning to Jet2 and Jet2holidays and are confident that there will be sunnier times across the industry in the not too distant future.”

Leeds Bradford based Jet2 and Jet2 Holidays operate holiday flights across Europe from UK airports including Leeds Bradford, Birmingham, Manchester and London Stansted.

About Nick Harding 1934 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.