COVID-19: EasyJet grounds entire fleet

COVID-19: EasyJet grounds entire fleet

EasyJet shares (LON: EZJ) fell on Monday after the low-cost airline announced that it has grounded its entire fleet of aircraft.

Shares in the airline were down by over 7% during trading on Monday.

“As a result of the unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of national lockdowns across many European countries, easyJet has, today, fully grounded its entire fleet of aircraft,” the airline said in a statement.

The aviation industry has been hit particularly hard by the outbreak of COVID-19 as many nations have been placed under lockdown in an attempt to contain the spread of the illness.

Earlier this month, Europe’s worst-affected nation, Italy, was placed under lockdown.

This caused EasyJet rival Ryanair (LON:RYA) to announce that it will be lowering its passenger target for 2020.

On Monday, EasyJet said in a statement: “Over recent days easyJet has been helping to repatriate customers, having operated more than 650 rescue flights to date, returning home more than 45,000 customers.  The last of these rescue flights were operated on Sunday 29 March.  We will continue to work with government bodies to operate additional rescue flights as requested.”

The airline continued to add that it is uncertain when it will restart commercial flights.

EasyJet will continue to evaluate the situation based on regulations and demand. It will update the market when it has a clearer picture of the future.

“I am extremely proud of the way in which people across easyJet have given their absolute best at such a challenging time, including so many crew who have volunteered to operate rescue flights to bring our customers home,” Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO, said.

“We are working tirelessly to ensure that easyJet continues to be well positioned to overcome the challenges of coronavirus,” the CEO continued.

Shares in EasyJet plc (LON:EZJ) were down on Monday, trading at -7.63% as of 11:55 BST.