EasyJet has admitted that approximately nine million customers have been affected by a “highly sophisticated cyber attack.”
It said email addresses and travel details had been stolen and that 2,208 customers had also had their credit card details “accessed”.
The airline has said it will contact the affected customers directly within the next few days to advise them of the attack.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren said in a statement presented by The Guardian, “We would like to apologise to those customers who have been affected by this incident.
“Since we became aware of the incident, it has become clear that owing to COVID-19 there is heightened concern about personal data being used for online scams. As a result, and on the recommendation of the ICO, we are contacting those customers whose travel information was accessed and we are advising them to be extra vigilant, particularly if they receive unsolicited communications.”
The airline said it has closed off the unauthorised access, and is working with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and National Cyber Security Centre. It said all nine million passengers would be contacted with advice regarding protective steps to minimise the risk of potential phishing.
In statement, the airline said,“We are advising customers to continue to be alert as they would normally be, especially should they receive any unsolicited communications. We also advise customers to be cautious of any communications purporting to come from easyJet or easyJet Holidays.”
In other airline news:
- Etihad Airways has reportedly laid off hundreds of employees, including flight staff, after the global COVID-19 pandemic caused it to cancel flights. According to international news organisation Reuters, citing Etihad sources, the Abu Dhabi-based airline has made a large number of its employees redundant.
- Starting 18 May, Air France has gradually increased its flight schedule, while adhering to travel restrictions and passenger demand. From May to June, the carrier’s flight schedule will resume 15 per cent of its usual capacity during the summer months.
- Southwest Airlines today released an investor update stating that in April, it measured a load factor of just 8 per cent.
- JetBlue will postpone the launch of its highly anticipated route to Guyana until next spring. Complications surrounding the global health crisis have forced the low-cost carrier to push its plans back until 2021.
- Doha’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) is using new technology to elevate passenger safety. As of 19 May, the airport is investing in robotics and special helmets to help keep passengers safe and prepare for a post-COVID era.
- On 18 May, a shipment of 40,000 medical gowns departed from Shanghai on a cargo-only American Airlines flight. The gowns are headed to the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City for healthcare workers in need of critical supplies.