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Nick Potts via PA

Easyjet executive apologises after motivational video to staff heavily plagiarised Leo's Patrick's Day address

Bellew said he “borrowed” a few phrases.

EASYJET EXECUTIVE PETER Bellew has apologised to his pilots and staff after a video message he delivered to airline employees turned out to be a heavily plagiarised version of Leo Varadkar’s address to the nation on St Patrick’s Day.

A video of both speeches appeared online yesterday, showing Bellew using the exact same turns of phrase Varadkar had said only days previously. 

In an apology to staff, shared widely on social media, Bellew said he “put his hands up” and said he had borrowed a few phrases from the Taoiseach. 

Bellew wrote: “Some of you have spotted similarities between the message I did last week and a recent speech by the Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar. I can only hold my hands up and apologise.

“I thought the Taoiseach struck exactly the right note and it really resonated in my mind with what we are going through, so I borrowed some of his phrases in my recent message to cabin crew and pilots, which I realise now I should not have done.

“I would like to say sorry to the Taoiseach and to all of you. I will write all of my own speeches in future.”

On Friday, the airline said it would ground the majority of its planes from 24 March, mirroring moves by other carriers worldwide because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Following the country lockdowns, travel restrictions and changes to travel advice across its network, easyJet has taken the decision to ground the majority of its fleet of aircraft from Tuesday 24 March,” a statement said.

EasyJet said flights to repatriate customers were expected to mostly be completed by tomorrow.

It said it would continue to “operate a minimal schedule of essential services on some routes. 

“This will be a maximum of 10% of our usual capacity during this time of year and mainly routes to, from and within the UK,” a statement read.

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