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Coronavirus UK: EasyJet boss apologises for calling it ‘hype’

EasyJet boss Peter Bellew is forced to apologise for writing off coronavirus as ‘ridiculous hype’ in video to staff

  • Peter Bellew claimed there was ‘ridiculous hype’ surrounding coronavirus
  • He told cabin crew they must report for duty despite danger posed by virus 
  • Another video issued to staff he plagiarised a speech by Ireland’s Leo Varadkar
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

EasyJet boss Peter Bellew has been forced to issue an apology after circulating a video among staff which appeared to make light of the coronavirus crisis.

He said there was ‘ridiculous hype’ surrounding the virus which has killed 422 in the UK alone.

The airline is facing criticism for slashing staff’s salaries by up to 67 per cent while bosses reportedly agreed to just a 20 per cent salary decrease for themselves.

In the footage, filmed in Gatwick Airport’s crew room, he said: ‘Despite all the ridiculous hype that is going on about the virus we had full first wave operating and great cooperation from the crew.’  

Brushing aside the dangers posed by COVID-19 as ‘ridiculous press coverage’ he told staff to continue reporting for duty. 

He then added that due to the lower than usual numbers of passengers workers should focus on getting flights out on time.

Mr Bellew said: ‘While we have less passenger numbers we really need to focus on better on-time performance.

‘I need everybody please to show up for work at the moment and in spite of all the ridiculous press coverage it is getting.

EasyJet boss Peter Bellew (pictured) has been forced to issue an apology after circulating a video among staff which appeared to make light of the coronavirus crisis

EasyJet boss Peter Bellew (pictured) has been forced to issue an apology after circulating a video among staff which appeared to make light of the coronavirus crisis

‘We will do the safe thing by our customers and our staff.’

Bellew apologised for the video – which was posted on February 27- and said ‘the language used to describe the pandemic was insensitive and inappropriate,’ The Sun reports.

This video comes just days after the easyJet boss appologised for plagiarising Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s St Patrick’s Day message. 

Mr Bellew said he ‘borrowed’ some of Varadkar’s phrases, The Guardian reports.

Bellew apologised for the video  (pictured)- which was posted on February 27- and said 'the language used to describe the pandemic was insensitive and inappropriate'

Bellew apologised for the video  (pictured)- which was posted on February 27- and said ‘the language used to describe the pandemic was insensitive and inappropriate’

As part of a ‘coronavirus cooperation contract’, easyJet will pay staff half their salary over four months or 67 per cent of it over six months.

But bosses reportedly agreed to just a 20 per cent salary decrease for themselves.

EasyJet announced that it would be running a minimal schedule of flights and that most aircrafts would be grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic.

EasyJet is facing criticism for slashing staff's salaries by up to 67 per cent while bosses reportedly agreed to just a 20 per cent salary decrease for themselves (stock image)

EasyJet is facing criticism for slashing staff’s salaries by up to 67 per cent while bosses reportedly agreed to just a 20 per cent salary decrease for themselves (stock image)

It also said it was ‘committed’ to getting people home adding: ‘Where flights are cancelled – and where local authorities allow – we will operate rescue flights to repatriate customers.’

The company highlighted it had launched its winter schedule earlier than usual in order to give people more choices later on in the year.

‘We know that customers with a booking in the coming weeks may be unsure about travelling at the moment, so they can re-book to another flight later in the year without paying any change fees.’

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Written by Angle News

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