UK-based low-cost carrier easyJet has planned to reduce staff numbers by up to 30% as the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues to affect operations.

The move is part of the company’s plan to decrease the airline and eliminate costs and non-critical expenditure at all levels.

easyJet will soon be launching an employee consultation process on staff reduction proposal.

easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said: “We realise that these are very difficult times and we are having to consider very difficult decisions which will impact our people, but we want to protect as many jobs as we can for the long-term.

“We remain focused on doing what is right for the company and its long-term health and success, following the swift action we have taken over the last three months to meet the challenges of the virus.

“Although we will restart flying on 15 June, we expect demand to build slowly, only returning to 2019 levels in about three years’ time.

“We want to ensure that we emerge from the pandemic an even more competitive business than before so that easyJet can thrive in the future.”

easyJet will resume operations on 15 June with an initial schedule comprising mainly domestic flying in the UK and France.

The company is planning to operate 30% of the planned capacity flown in the fourth quarter of 2019. It will also continue to assess its actions in line with changing regulations and customer demand.

easyJet announced various measures that will be implemented upon the resumption of operations, including requiring customers, cabin and ground crew to wear masks, prohibiting onboard food service and more.

In a separate recent development, publicly traded carrier American Airlines reportedly planned to cut 5,000 management and support staff positions as the pandemic continues to affect business.