EasyJet pilots have said the worst of flight disruption is yet to come as they criticised the airline’s top brass in a scathing letter to its CEO.
It follows what they described as “several episodes of operational collapse” and “terrible” media coverage of stranded passengers.
Hundreds of flights were cancelled last week and larger than normal queues have been seen at Scottish airports.
The captains, representing the French SNPL pilots’ union, said EasyJet’s executive team had presided over “unprecedented levels” of chaos amid “too frequent operational meltdowns”.
Passengers were left stranded after hundreds of flights were cancelled during the Easter holiday.
In the letter, the pilots asked CEO Johan Lundgren how we could expect employees to trust resilience plans for the summer when they could “barely” deal with a long weekend.
They warned of an exodus of customers and travel agencies at the cost of “hundreds of millions”.
“Literally hundreds of employees in distress have fed back how chaotic our operations have become recently, to unprecedented levels,” the letter read.
“We are actually convinced that our disruption hasn’t even peaked yet and frankly this is a frightening prospect.”
In May, EasyJet planned to tackle staff shortages by removing seats on its flights so they could fly with less crew.
The blistering letter said employees were “as demoralised and anxious for the future as when the fleet
was grounded, following the continuous operational mismanagements”.
It continued: “How many pennies did we save with all these loyal employees, flight attendants and crewing/rostering/flight planning staff being made redundant while furlough alternatives existed?
“Whatever is really happening, there seems to be a curse on easyJet top management, bound to become penny wise and pound foolish.”
EasyJet said it as a “continuous and open dialogue” with unions and was aware of the SNPL’s letter which it will respond to directly.
A company spokesperson said: “Delivering a safe and reliable operation for our customers and crew is the airline’s highest priority and the evidence from our safety reporting system shows no deterioration in flight safety as a result of the current operating environment.
“EasyJet continues to operate up to around 1,700 flights and carry around a quarter of a million customers every day. However the ongoing challenging operating environment continues to have an impact which is resulting in a small proportion of flight cancellations.
“We are absolutely focused on our daily operation and continue to monitor this very closely and will not hesitate to take action as needed.”
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