British budget airline easyJet is to close its East Midlands base and reduce services at Luton airport by 20%, it announced today.
The low-fare carrier also said it would be consulting on a reduction of the number of flight crew at Belfast, Bristol, Newcastle and Stansted airports.
EasyJet blamed the cutbacks at Luton on “the airport’s failure to recognise the commercial realities of the recession”, while saying that its East Midlands airport operation had “remained stagnant for many years”.
EasyJet said flights to and from East Midlands airport up to the end of the year are "wholly unaffected''.
Passengers travelling to and from East Midlands beyond the end of this year would be informed well in advance if and how their travel might be affected.
The airline employs 120 staff and operates three aircraft at East Midlands, and carries around 700,000 passengers a year.
The consultation on crew numbers at Belfast, Bristol, Newcastle and Stansted affects about 40 pilot and cabin crew jobs.
EasyJet has 530 pilots and cabin crew at Luton where it operates 16 aircraft and carries 4.7 million passengers a year.