EasyJet to remove seats from planes to tackle staff shortages

The budget airline hopes to cut the number of crew members needed on flights from four to three

EasyJet airplanes are parked on the tarmac during the official opening of the new Berlin-Brandenburg Airport "Willy Brandt" in Schoenefeld, near Berlin, on October 31, 2020. Reuters
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EasyJet has announced plans to remove seats from its planes so they can fly with fewer crew members and tackle the staff shortages the airline is facing.

The number of crew needed on flights is dictated by the number of passengers flying and is set by the Civil Aviation Authority.

By removing the back row of seats on its A319 planes, the budget airline will limit the number of passengers onboard to 150, which requires three crew members instead of four.

EasyJet told the PA news agency that this was an “effective way” of operating its fleet this summer.

“This summer we will be operating our UK A319 fleet with a maximum of 150 passengers onboard and three crew in line with CAA regulations,” the airline said.

“This is an effective way of operating our fleet while building additional resilience and flexibility into our operation this summer, where we expect to be back to near 2019 levels of flying.”

European airlines, including easyJet, were forced to cancel thousands of flights in the lead-up to Easter.

The airline expects to operate “near” pre-pandemic levels of flying this summer. It operated at 80 per cent of 2019 capacity in the first three months of this year.

Updated: May 08, 2022, 8:48 PM