Low-cost airline EasyJet, which in normal times operates flights to several European destinations from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport, has announced the complete grounding of its fleet.
"As a result of the unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of national lockdowns across many European countries, easyJet has, today, fully grounded its entire fleet of aircraft," the company's announcement says.
"Over recent days, easyJet has been helping to repatriate customers, having operated more than 650 rescue flights to date, returning home more than 45,000 customers. The last of these rescue flights were operated on Sunday 29 March. We will continue to work with government bodies to operate additional rescue flights as requested," the announcement continues, adding, "At this stage there can be no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights. We will continuously evaluate the situation based on regulations and demand, and will update the market when we have a view."
As far as the effect of the halting of operations on its finances is concerned, EasyJet states, "We continue to take every action to remove cost and non-critical expenditure from the business at every level in order to help mitigate the impact from the coronavirus. The grounding of aircraft removes significant cost.
"easyJet maintains a strong balance sheet, with no debt re-financings due until 2022. We are in ongoing discussions with liquidity providers who recognize our strength of balance sheet and business model."
easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said, "I am extremely proud of the way in which people across easyJet have given their absolute best at such a challenging time, including so many crew who have volunteered to operate rescue flights to bring our customers home. We are working tirelessly to ensure that easyJet continues to be well-positioned to overcome the challenges of coronavirus."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 30, 2020
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