To combat staff shortages, easyJet will remove some passenger seats to reduce how many Cabin Crew are required on-board.
Many airlines are currently struggling to meet pre-pandemic levels of service due to staffing issues. EasyJet are planning to remove seats on planes to lessen the number of Cabin Crew required for each flight. This plan will come into effect in time for the busy summer travel season.
Which seats will be removed?
The seats in question will be the back row of easyJet’s A319 fleet. Removing these seats will mean that flights can operate with only three Cabin Crew working rather than the standard four. The maximum passenger capacity would therefore be cut to 150.
A spokesperson for the airline said it would ensure the fleet continues to operate effectively, and the move would build ‘additional resilience and flexibility’ for the airline and customers.
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations state that the number of Cabin Crew is based on the amount of physical seats, NOT the number of passengers on-board. EasyJet would be adhering to the requisite rules.
Staff shortages have caused problems for many UK airlines and airports, with British Airways suffering from Covid-19 outbreaks amongst employees.
Airlines haven’t been able to keep up with their full schedules due to widespread staff absence and a soaring demand for travel. Holiday bookings have boomed since pandemic travel restrictions were dropped.
Experts predict staffing difficulties will continue until next year. This is despite easyJet currently running a recruitment campaign for many of its UK bases.
Want to become easyJet Cabin Crew? Here’s how:
A backlog in processing security clearance checks is also creating issues. Transport secretary Grant Shapps has given the nod to airlines training new staff prior to the checks coming through.
EasyJet have said they will invest more resources into the accreditation process for new staff. The airline hopes to get back up to 2019 capacity by the summer. That year easyJet flew nearly 300,000 passengers a day.
Into the future
Stripping out seats to lower crew ratios seems a dramatic step. But hopefully it will lead to smoother service, happy customers and less stressed Cabin Crew overall!