EASYJET is set to cut up to 4,500 jobs after announcing plans to reduce its workforce by as much as 30 per cent.

The low-cost airline said the move is part of measures to restructure its business following the coronavirus pandemic.

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A consultation process with staff will be launched over the following days.

EasyJet is the latest airline to announce job cuts as the spread of Covid-19 continues to cripple the travel industry.

British Airways is cutting 12,000 roles while Ryanair has warned up to 3,250 jobs could be slashed.

Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic is reported to be braced for a restructuring after confirming it will make around 3,125 members of staff redundant in an attempt to stay afloat.

How coronavirus has impacted the travel industry

HERE'S how coronavirus has hit major airlines:

  • British Airways has suspended all routes from London Gatwick and London City airports, and has moved all operations into terminal 5 at London Heathrow. The airline currently plans on resuming 50 per cent of its flights from July. On April 28, BA’s parent company IAG said it was preparing to cut 12,000 jobsfrom the airline’s 42,000-strong workforce.
  • easyJet has grounded its entire fleet of 330 aircraft and cancelled all flights. It plans on restarting a small number of flights in the UK and France from mid-June. On May 28, easyJet announcd plans to reduce its workforce by 30 per cent, meaning up to 3,000 jobs at the airline could be lost.
  • Flybe collapsed into administration on March 5. The airline had been losing money for several months, with it narrowly avoiding going under in January 2020, but coronavirus was understood to have had a severe impact on bookings.
  • Jet2 has cancelled all flights and holiday packages until June 17. The airline is expected to start flying again from the middle of June.
  • Ryanair has grounded 99 per cent of its fleet due to the coronavirus pandemic. Remaining flights are operating on an emergency schedule only for passengers trying to return to the UK. On May 1, the airline announced it could cut 3,000 jobs as part of a restructuring plan.
  • TUI has suspended all package holidays and cruises due to the crisis. All trips have been cancelled until June 11, while Marella Cruise holidays won't resume until July.
  • Virgin Atlantic has suspended all flights, with no word on when it'll start flying again. Virgin Group owner Richard Branson has asked the government for a bailout to keep the airline going. It follows the fall of Virgin Australia into administration after being refused a bailout from the Australian government.
  • Wizz Air had grounded the majority of its flights, with limited routes to Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland. However, the airline has now resumed some routes from London Luton Airport. Destinations include Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Portugal, Spain and Israel.

The trouble for the travel industry comes as flights have been grounded at an unprecedented rate during the coronavirus crisis, while Brits have been forced to cancel and reschedule their holidays.

EasyJet has grounded its entire fleet of 330 aircraft and cancelled all flights.

The airline is currently furloughing workers.

EasyJet told The Sun it currently employs 15,000 full-time members of staff – but it hasn't said if the job cuts will impact full-time employees, part-time employees, or both.

We've asked easyJet how many part-time workers it currently has and we'll update this article when we know more.

Johan Lundgren, chief executive of easyJet, said: "We realise that these are very difficult times and we are having to consider very difficult decisions which will impact our people, but we want to protect as many jobs as we can for the long-term.

"We remain focused on doing what is right for the company and its long-term health and success, following the swift action we have taken over the last three months to meet the challenges of the virus."

EasyJet is due to restart flights from June 15 – but Mr Lundgren says he expects demand to "build slowly" and only return to 2019 levels in three years' time.

He continued: "Against this backdrop, we are planning to reduce the size of our fleet and to optimise the network and our bases.

"As a result, we anticipate reducing staff numbers by up to 30 per cent across the business and we will continue to remove cost and non-critical expenditure at every level.

"We will be launching an employee consultation over the coming days.

"We want to ensure that we emerge from the pandemic an even more competitive business than before, so that easyJet can thrive in the future."

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