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easyJet Plc (LON:EZJ) has today released a statement in relation to COVID-19.

Following the increased incidence of COVID-19 cases in Northern Italy, we have seen a significant softening of demand and load factors into and out of our Northern Italian bases. Further, we are also seeing some slower demand across our other European markets. As a result we will be making decisions to cancel some flights, particularly those into and out of Italy, while continuing to monitor the situation and adapting our flying programme to support demand. 

While it is too early to determine what the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak will be on current year outlook and guidance for both the Airline and Holidays business, we continue to monitor the situation carefully and will update the market in due course.  

easyJet is working closely with authorities and are following the guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation and EASA to ensure the health and wellbeing of our people and customers.  

We have a cross-functional working group that has been meeting daily to make sure that all our processes and policies remain effective. Our procedures for dealing with communicable diseases are similar to those developed during the SARS epidemic and other global health emergencies.  

In the meantime, to help mitigate the impact from COVID-19 we will be focusing on delivering operational efficiency and cost savings across a number of areas of the business, including: 

·    Budget cuts in administrative areas and discretionary spend

·    Recruitment, promotion and pay freezes across the network

·    Postponement of non-critical project and capital expenditure

·    Offering unpaid leave and halting non-mandatory training

·    Working with third party suppliers to further reduce cost

·   Aircraft reallocation for summer 2020 which will offer the highest revenue opportunities on market recovery.

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