Stobart consults with staff as easyJet pulls out of Stansted and Southend airports

Stobart Group has started to consult with its colleagues over their futures with the company after easyJet said it was pulling out of both Stansted and Southend airports.

The company, which organises the check-in and baggage handling for easyJet at both of the London airports, said that the decision would have an impact on its business there.

It said that it is talking to the members of staff who will be affected by the change.

“As a result of the decision to close these airport bases, Stobart Aviation Services will enter a consultation process with the teams affected by this as part of a wider cost management programme within the Aviation division,” the company told shareholders on Tuesday.

Southend Airport has also started to consult with its staff after being hit hard by the Covid-19 virus, Stobart said.

The news comes a day after easyJet said it would close its bases at the two sites, and Newcastle Airport.

EasyJet said that around 670 of its staff work at the three airports that it is abandoning.

Stobart did not say how many staff it is consulting with.

According to London Southend Airport’s annual report, the airport employed around 220 people, and Stobart Aviation Services had approximately 120 staff at the site in February last year.

Chief executive Warwick Brady said: “We are disappointed that easyJet has taken the decision to close its airport bases serving the North and East of London.

“However, we expect that this decision will create significant opportunity for other airlines looking to take on established, popular and profitable routes.

“London Southend Airport has a catchment area in excess of eight million people, regular direct trains from London Liverpool Street in 51 minutes and can offer a cost-efficient base of operation for airlines with an increasingly enhanced passenger experience for post-Covid-19 travel.

“Though the 2020 summer and winter periods will continue to be challenging, we expect passenger demand for short haul leisure flying to increase through 2021, and we are in active dialogue with airlines regarding their interest in capitalising on these well-established, profitable routes.”