The French pilots of the company British low cost easyJet have written a letter to their management warning of the risk of massive flight cancellations this summer due to the lack of manpower, while the company has already been in difficulty during the long spring weekends.
The pilots are particularly concerned about the lack of manpower, “mainly among the hostesses and stewards and a little among the captains”, indicates the president of the National Union of pilots lines (SNPL) of the company, Arnaud Wiplier. The letter, revealed by the British media Inews, was sent on Monday June 6 to warn the management which “gives the impression of not having grasped the extent of the problem”.
Easyjet “less well prepared” for the summer season
“If we can’t be resilient for a three-day weekend, can we be resilient during the summer? “, he asks. The company is “less well prepared than in other years” and is forced to cancel flights in proportions “not seen for ten years”, worries Arnaud Wiplier. According to him, dozens of flights are canceled in France every week.
The disruptions already noted in some airports Europeans due to lack of staff “will reach their peak this summer” and risk further complicating the task of easyJet teams, he assures. The company has planned to recruit a hundred hostesses and stewards in France, according to the SNPL, but “it takes time to recruit and train these people”, says the union.
Cancellations that risk being “late”
If easyJet “continues to operate up to 1,700 flights and carries 250,000 travelers every day”, the company acknowledges facing “difficult operating conditions which lead to the cancellation of a small part of [ses] flights”. In a reaction to AFP, she assures us to maintain a constant dialogue with the unions and that she “will respond directly to the SNPL” on the questions raised in their letter.
Arnaud Wiplier also deplores the reduction due to the Covid-19 teams responsible for planning and monitoring operations based at Luton airport, near London. “If there is a sick person, there will only be one to check the legality of the next day’s schedules throughout Europe, so we have cancellations that are made late because we realizes too late that there is no more crew”, describes the union representative.
The pilots suggest creating annexes to this operations center because “in Luton we find that they cannot manage the network”. Finally, the pilots are concerned in their letter about the use of the subcontractor SmartLynx, a specialist in rental flights with crew very poorly rated by the ECA, the organization which represents European pilots.
“We are asking the company to ensure that the pilots’ working conditions allow them to fly in complete safety”, underlines Arnaud Wiplier, who deplores the use of “non-employee pilots of easyJet, autoentrepreneurs of the type Uber “.