Easyjet is to reduce the number of seats on its UK A319 aircraft this summer, to allow it to operate the planes with three instead of four cabin crew.

Civil Aviation Authority rules means that airlines must have one cabin crew member for every 50 passengers (or part thereof).

Easyjet’s A319s are normally configured with 156 seats, which would require four cabin crew, but by removing six seats and reducing this figure to 150, the carrier can operate the aircraft with just three crew members.

The move has been prompted by staff shortages across the aviation industry, as a result of furloughing during the Covid-19, and a subsequent surge in demand as travel restrictions ease.

In a statement provided to Business Traveller, Easyjet said:

“This summer we will be operating our UK A319 fleet with a maximum of 150 passengers onboard and three crew in line with CAA regulations.

“This is an effective way of operating our fleet while building additional resilience and flexibility into our operation this summer where we expect to be back to near 2019 levels of flying.”

The carrier’s larger A320 and A321 neo aircraft – which are configured with 186 and 235 seats respectively – are unaffected by the move.

Easyjet said that the A319 capacity reduction was just one of a range of measures to help it cope, with others including additional resources for ID processing.

The carrier also said that the number of seats being removed was “very small” in the context of its summer season flying, which is expected to return to “near 2019 levels” this year.