Up to 250 jobs could be axed at EasyJet as it slashes flights from Luton and shuts its operation at East Midlands airport.
The budget airline says it hopes to redeploy staff, but the decision could lead to the loss of as many as 250 jobs, according to a Daily Mail report .
EasyJet blamed the downscaling on increases in airport fees and the impact of the Government’s green flight tax – Air Passenger Duty (APD).
It complained that airport costs had risen by 25% over the past three years which made the Bedfordshire base “no longer competitive”.
The closure of EasyJet’s operation at East Midlands airport will hit the Nottingham, Derby and Leicester area.
The carrier employs 120 staff and operates three aircraft at the airport. It said the decision, which takes effect at the end of this year, had been taken because bookings through the airport had “remained stagnant for many years”.
EasyJet said the difficult situation at both airports had been exacerbated by the impact of APD.
EasyJet chief executive Andy Harrison said: “We are one of only a few airlines expecting to make a profit this year.
“A critical part of our success has been optimising the allocation of our aircraft across our 19 European bases. This means responding to airports with uncompetitive costs.
“The rise in APD hits regional airports hardest and increases the pressure to move aircraft to mainland Europe. The government seems to think that APD is a free lunch. It isn’t. It costs jobs in the UK.”
EasyJet is also consulting on cutting flight crew at Belfast, Bristol, Newcastle and Stansted airports.