Coronavirus: EasyJet warns of more job losses as Ryanair labels travel quarantine a ‘political stunt’

Ryanair has criticised quarantine measures as a “political stunt” while EasyJet warns there could be more job losses if UK’s policy for international travellers continues.

Johan Lundgren, chief executive of EasyJet, told Sky’s Ian King Live that he “feared” there would be more job losses at the airline if the quarantine period lasts longer than expected.

The UK introduced a 14-day quarantine period for international arrivals starting from 8 June despite warnings from some of the biggest airlines in the country that the move will cause a collapse in tourism and damage exports.

Under the new rules, those failing to self-isolate for 14-days could face a fine of £1,000.

Passengers travelling to the UK will also not be allowed to use public transport from the airport and will be prevented from going to work or school while under quarantine.

Mr Lundgren said: “This is affecting millions of people and it’s also affecting the UK vacation industry which has been a, a leading sector across the global aviation.

“I fear that unless there’s a change into this, the aviation industry as we know it here in the UK will not be intact.”

The low-cost airline is already planning to cut 4,500 jobs or 30% of its workforce because of the fall in demand for air travel due to the coronavirus crisis.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary also told Sky News that the new rules for travellers arriving in the UK were “a joke”.

The chief executive of London’s Heathrow Airport added pressure on the government by telling Kay Burley @ Breakfast that hundreds of thousands of jobs could be lost if aviation is not able to resume quickly.

John Holland-Kaye said: “If we don’t get aviation moving again quickly, in a very safe way, then we are going to lose hundreds of thousands if not millions of jobs in the UK just at the time when we need to be rebuilding our economy.”

The boss of British Airways owner IAG told Sky’s Ian King Live programme last week that he was considering a legal challenge against the quarantine and was reviewing the situation with lawyers.

Willie Walsh said: “We think it is irrational, we think it is disproportionate and we are giving consideration to a legal challenge to this legislation.”

More to follow…

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