Major UK airline EasyJet has grounded 100 of its planes and “asked its workers to take pay cuts and unpaid leave”, according to reports.
The low-cost airline announced this morning that it has “undertaken further significant cancellations” amid the coronavirus outbreak.
It said the move will “continue on a rolling basis for the foreseeable future” and could result in the “majority” of its fleet being grounded.
But according to ITV News’ business editor, Joel Hills, the number of EasyJet’s 344 aircraft that have now been grounded are 100.
He also reported that workers have been asked to take pay cuts and unpaid leave.
EasyJet said in its statement: "Due to the unprecedented level of travel restrictions being imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and significantly reduced levels of customer demand, easyJet has undertaken further significant cancellations.
"These actions will continue on a rolling basis for the foreseeable future and could result in the grounding of the majority of the easyJet fleet.
"EasyJet will continue to operate rescue flights for short periods where we can, in order to repatriate customers."
EasyJet's CEO Johan Lundgren said: “At easyJet we are doing everything in our power to rise to the challenges of the coronavirus so that we can continue to provide the benefits that aviation brings to people, the economy and business.
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“We continue to operate rescue and repatriation flights to get people home where we can, so they can be with family and friends in these difficult times.
“European aviation faces a precarious future and it is clear that coordinated government backing will be required to ensure the industry survives and is able to continue to operate when the crisis is over.”
EasyJet's decision comes in the same morning British Airways' owner IAG announced it was cutting the flight schedule in April and May by at least 75%.
It also announced staff will see cuts to their hours, while travel company TUI also announced today that it is suspending all package holidays and cruises.
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The UK saw its biggest increase in coronavirus deaths in a 24-hour period on Sunday after the number jumped from 21 to 35.
The number of cases also increased by 232 to 1,372, although the figure is believed to be closer to 10,000.
Those who have died from COVID-19 in the UK so far were aged between 59 and 94 and had underlying health conditions.
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