Airline operator Easyjet has grounded its entire fleet of aircraft and cancelled all their flights due to travel restrictions following the coronavirus pandemic.

The budget airline made the announcement on Monday morning (March 30), stating all of its staff are to be given a two-month leave of absence.

Here’s what you need to know if you’ve booked flights for the coming weeks and months:

  • “Unprecedented travel restrictions”

EasyJet had already cancelled the majority of its flights following the virus outbreak, but had continued to run rescue flights to repatriate British citizens who were stranded abroad.

However, the airline has now grounded all of its planes, citing the “unprecedented travel restrictions” as the reason for its decision.

In a statement, the airline said: “As a result of the unprecedented travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of national lockdowns across many European countries, EasyJet has, today, fully grounded its entire fleet of aircraft.

"Over recent days EasyJet has been helping to repatriate customers, having operated more than 650 rescue flights to date, returning home more than 45,000 customers.

"The last of these rescue flights were operated on Sunday, March 29. We will continue to work with government bodies to operate additional rescue flights as requested."

Yeovil Express:

  • What happens if I have flights booked?

If you have a flight booked with EasyJet, the airline has said customers who are now faced with cancellations will be entitled to either a full refund, a voucher for the value of their original booking, or an alternative flight for the same price.

Customers will be contacted by the airline to discuss their options.

Customers can also contact the airline themselves directly, but EasyJet has warned there may be delays in getting through to one of their team on the phone due to the huge number of flights that have been disrupted.

EasyJet said: "We are experiencing higher than average wait times so we would thank customers for their patience and assure them that these entitlements will be available long after their cancelled flight has flown."

  • How do I contact EasyJet?

The EasyJet customer service team can be contacted on 0330 365 5000., or you can manage your booking via the website.

If you booked through a third-party company, you will need to contact them regarding a refund or alternative flight.

  • What will happen to staff?

EasyJet said its cabin crew will be furloughed, meaning staff will be paid 80 per cent of their average salary through the government’s emergency Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

This will take effect from Wednesday (April 1).

  • When will EasyJet planes start flying again?

An exact date for when flights will resume has not yet been confirmed, although the airline is expected to be out of operation until at least June.

EasyJet said: "At this stage there can be no certainty of the date for restarting commercial flights.

“We will continuously evaluate the situation based on regulations and demand, and will update the market when we have a view."