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Friday, 9 August, 2002, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Easyjet cuts flights
EasyJet plane
Quick turnaround is the key to budget airline success
Budget airline Easyjet is to cut about four flights a day, as it admits it is finding it difficult to cope with a huge increase in passenger numbers.

Easyjet operates about 250 flights each day and will cut flights on some of the least popular routes from next week.


The new rostering system... is rubbish and we are changing it

Easyjet
The decision follows a spate of cancellations in July, affecting about 3,600 passengers.

Many budget airlines have fast turnarounds, with airlines unloading their passengers and quickly reboarding.

This allows them to make the maximum use of their small fleets.

While the strategy is cost effective, it also increases the likelihood of cancellations when technical or staffing problems arise.

The company now says it wants to take the pressure off staff.

'All manner of problems'

"Occasionally, people get things wrong, we had a bad July," a spokesman said.

This is not a big scale back. It's in terms of writing to all your staff, saying 'thanks, it's been difficult, what are we going to do'," he added.

The spokesman said the problem was not about staff shortages.

"We have introduced a new rostering system which is causing us all manner of problems.

"It's a rubbish system and we are changing it."

Safety fears

Concerns have grown that pilots at budget airline pilots may cut corners to avoid delays, ultimately endangering passengers' lives.

Some pilots have complained of exhaustion.

Easyjet has witnessed rapid expansion in recent months, as have other budget airlines.

Passenger numbers last month were 62% higher than a year before.

In the City, news of the flight cuts failed to unnerve investors, with Easyjet shares closing 0.75p higher at 366.25p on Friday.

See also:

05 Jul 02 | Business
11 Jun 02 | Business
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